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Venezuelan opposition denounces “imposition” of 20 new Supreme Court magistrates

Votação na Assembleia Nacional da Venezuela: processo, que havia sido adiado, nomeou magistrados do período anterior, o que é vedado pela Constituição do país

Vote in the National Assembly of Venezuela: the process, which had been postponed, appointed magistrates from the previous period, which is prohibited by the country’s Constitution | Photo: EFE/Rayner Peña R

26211956 26211956 The National Assembly of Venezuela appointed this Tuesday (2013 ), after a postponement of 31 days, the new magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), which will make up the seven rooms of the Judiciary for the next 12 years.

Among the nominees, there are several magistrates from the previous period, such as the current president of the Court, Maikel Moreno, in addition to Lourdes Anderson, Luis Fernando Daminani and Calixto Ortega, who remain in the Constitutional Room.

26211956In the Electoral Room, Fany Márquez and Inocencio Figueroa – who was previously in the Political-Administrative Room – remain, while Elsa Yaneth Gómez and the president Moreno remain in the Criminal Cassation Room, and Edgar Gaviria remains in the Social Cassation Room.

Another highlight of the list of 20 new magistrates is the appointment of Gladys Gutiérrez, who was president of the TSJ between 2013 and 2017.

This group becomes part of the TSJ despite the article 25 of the Venezuelan Constitution establishes that “the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice shall be elected for a single period of 12 years old”.

Also noteworthy are the appointments of the current president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tania D’Amelio , who will now be a magistrate and will integrate the Constitutional Chamber, and the deputy Gladys Requena, appointed inspector general of the courts.

The new TSJ will also have magistrates close to the opposition, such as José Luis Rodríguez, in the Civil Cassation Room; Elías Bittar, in the Social Cassation Room; and Luis Emilio Rondón, deputy of the Political-Administrative Room, in addition to Figueroa, of the Electoral Room.

Through a statement, the Venezuelan opposition led by Juan Guaidó rejected what it classified as an “imposition” of the 20 new justices of the Supreme Court.

“We denounce to national and international public opinion the imposition of magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice by the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro and his illegitimate Assembly. This fact is the most recent sign of the absence of democracy in our country”, declared the opposition group.

In the opinion of opponents, this act represents a process of “allocation of quotas” that “remove” the possibilities of doing justice in cases of victims of human rights violations in recent decades.

The group also considered that this designation “seeks to protect the corrupt and violators of human rights, disguising this cover-up in an alleged renovation of the country’s justice system.”

26211956 )“What happened makes it impossible for any type of ‘principle of complementarity’ in Venezuela to be applied between national and international investigations in progress, since the courts do not guarantee that true justice can be applied”, highlighted the text.

In view of the facts, the opponents urged the international community to disregard this appointment, which, according to them, “deepens” the institutional crisis in the Caribbean country.

“We also ask national and international actors not to recognize this court as legitimate for violating our Constitution, for being formed by political actors who are and will be facilitators of impunity and for going against all recommendations that international bodies have done to the Maduro regime,” the statement added.

)In turn, the President of the Assembly, Jorge Rodríguez, had previously assured that the provisions of the Venezuelan Constitution for the choice of new magistrates were “fully complied with” and concluded the agreement that gave rise to this list.

The election of the new TSJ magistrates was postponed in 20 in March, when the Assembly, with a majority Chavista, indicated that it would seek agreements and deepen the work of the process and consultation in this regard.

This was denounced, in 6 April, by the Venezuelan NGO Acceso a la Justicia, which guaranteed that it was an unjustified delay and that the Assembly “modified at least eight times the call for the ordinary session that would take place within five continuous days after receiving the list sent by the Citizen Power Candidacy Evaluation Commission”.

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