Archive for January 11th, 2016

First Constitutional Crisis As Supreme Court’s Electoral Hall Attempts To Freeze Venezuelan National Assembly

January 11, 2016


Well, sooner than you could say Henry Ramos, the first big Constitutional crisis exploded today, in Venezuela as the Electoral Hall made a ruling that sets up a huge confrontation between powers.

The Hall ruled:

1- The Venezuelan National Assembly is in contempt of the court for not obeying its decision to not swear in the Deputies from Amazonas State.

2- Because of this, says the Electoral Hall, any decision made by the Assembly so far and in the future is completely illegal

3- The Court orders the National Assembly to immediately “disincorporate” the three Deputies.

The decision is quite bizarre in too many ways, but what do you expect from “Justices” some of whom do not qualify to hold the position and violate the law in many cases, as they were card carrying members of Chavismo’s party PSUV?

First of all, the legal concept of taking away the proclamation of a Deputy does not exist. Moreover, there are precedents for this, which are not even mentioned in the decision by the same Hall and the Constitutional Hall of the Venezuelan Supreme Court.

Second, once proclaimed, according to the Venezuelan Constitution, only the National Assembly itself can “qualify” a Deputy. Nobody else can, least of all, the Electoral Hall of the Supreme Court which only rules on Electoral matters. Once the Electoral Board proclaimed the candidate, this is no longer an electoral matter. The same applies to nullifying acts by the National Assembly. It is not the role of the Electoral Hall to nullify such acts, least of all “future” acts, an absurd legal concept.

Maybe these “Justices” do not understand that the Electoral Hall rules on Electoral matters, no on matters which should be the realm, if at all, of the Constitutional Hall of the National Assembly.

Finally, it is sort of stupid to rule invalid decisions by the National Assembly that are taken without the three “questioned” Deputies participating in the vote. If they had nothing to do with the decision, there was nothing illegal about it.

But the real conflict arises and will explode now for the simple reason, that the National Assembly can simply not accept the decision for political reasons. Since the decisions are illegal, backing down would imply that the Court would simply stop the elected National Assembly from doing anything in the future.

And the key word here is “elected”. A Court that was not elected by popular vote and under questionable circumstances from a legal point of view, can not pretend to be above the popularly elected National Assembly.

Moreover, I think the National Assembly has no other recourse but begin proceedings against the same  Justices, something that they can do. Thus, we go into an infinite loop of non-recognition of one by the other.

Who will be the referee in such a battle?

Meanwhile, the economy gets worse, the price of oil goes down and the Maduro Government devotes itself to talking about the removal of Chávez’ pictures form the National Assembly building.

Clearly, there is no interest in attacking the economic problems and distortions. Even more clearly, there is no intention in recognizing the qualified majority obtained by the opposition.

Who was it that said Chavismo was democratic? Yeah, sure!