Thursday, March 30, 2017

Venezuela Supreme Court grants itself legislative powers

Venezuela's Supreme Court took over legislative powers Thursday, after ruling the opposition-majority National Assembly was in contempt of court in an ongoing power struggle with leftist President Nicolas Maduro.

The ruling marks a dramatic escalation of the political crisis gripping the South American oil giant, where Maduro is fighting off attempts to force him from power amid an economic unraveling that has caused food shortages, riots and an epidemic of violent crime.

"As long as the National Assembly's contempt of court and invalidity persist, parliamentary powers shall be exercised directly by (the Supreme Court's) constitutional chamber or by the body it stipulates to safeguard the rule of law," the high court said in the ruling, issued late Wednesday.

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