Outgoing Venezuelan Lawmakers Appoint New Supreme Court Justices

Featured Outgoing Venezuelan Lawmakers Appoint New Supreme Court Justices

CARACAS – Venezuela’s outgoing parliament, dominated by supporters of late President Hugo Chavez, on Wednesday designated and swore in 13 Supreme Court magistrates and 21 auxiliaries overcoming the dissenting votes of members of the opposition, who called the procedure “unconstitutional” and “unethical.”

The president of the outgoing National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, a Chavista, said that the justices were “approved by a constitutional majority” and reiterated that the appointments were made “in accord with the Constitution and the laws of this country.”

The move comes some two weeks before the new legislature, with its “qualified” two-thirds opposition majority, will be installed after the Dec. 6 legislative elections in which the government opponents obtained 112 seats to 55 for the Chavistas.

The naming of the new magistrates was done after conducting four quick and extraordinary legislative sessions so that a simple Chavista majority could appoint them according to the strictures of the Supreme Court of Justice Law.

Meanwhile, opposition legislator William Davila asked the new justices “not to transform yourselves ... into terror judges ... because you are ... being designated via an invalid act.”

Earlier, the executive secretary of the opposition MUD coalition, Jesus Torrealba, said that – once its members take office – the new parliamentary majority elected in December will reverse the process of appointing the magistrates.

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