Puebla, Mexico, November 4, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s Attorney General Reinaldo Munoz said Thursday told the country’s Supreme Court Thursday he had filed an injunction against the National Assembly (AN) over alleged violations of the constitution.
“The Attorney General’s Office has the patriotic duty to call on the highest body of the Venezuelan justice [system] to take whatever measures are necessary to prevent the continuation of the proceedings of the National Assembly beyond the constitution,” Munoz told state broadcaster VTV.
Filed Wednesday, the injunction alleges the AN has violated the constitution by considering impeachment proceedings against President Nicolas Maduro.
According to Munoz, the Venezuelan constitution has no impeachment mechanism. The attorney general has also accused legislators of promoting violence and instability by setting preconditions on dialogue with the government.
“One of the things we are trying to do is to prevent violence, because the AN and other political spokespeople are continuing to consistently say that if a set of demands is not met by a certain day, then they are going to take to the streets,” he said.
Venezuela’s right-wing opposition coalition, the MUD, currently holds a majority in the AN, with the president’s socialist party in the minority.
The allegation came a week after the opposition said it would refuse to continue negotiations with Maduro, unless the government meets certain preconditions including the overhaul of the country’s electoral authority, early elections next year, and the release of more alleged “political prisoners”.
The opposition and government were set to hold talks Friday, but with no signs the opposition’s preconditions will be met.
Maduro has argued preconditions are an impediment to sincere dialogue, and could create unrealistic expectations among opposition supporters.
The opposition has responded to the injunction by opening its own investigation into whether Munoz is the legitimate attorney general.
“The citizen who occupies the office of the attorney general was not appointed by the president, nor was he authorised by the National Assembly,” said AN spokesperson and legislator Oscar Ronderos said, according to newspaper Ultimas Noticias. He also claimed the attorney general was “usurping” the role of the public prosecutor, who is typically responsible for calling for investigations in the public interest.
Another opposition legislator, Delsa Solorzano, claimed Munoz himself could face criminal charges.
“All these irregularities corrupt and invalidate all the acts of the prosecutor,” Solorzano said.
Munoz, for his part, rejected the accusations, insisting that the AN is constitutionally out of line.
“We recognise that they [the MUD] were elected, but not chosen to remove the president, not to bring about a political crisis, not to break constitutional order,” he said.