Aug 19, 2017 @ 9:48

By: Maria Isabel SANCHEZ / Agence France-Presse

Venezuela’s new pro-government constitutional authority declared Friday it was seizing energy from the opposition-led legislature, tightening President Nicolas Maduro’s grip on the nation in defiance of worldwide outrage.

It was the most recent maneuver in a lethal political disaster that has seen Maduro branded a dictator by opponents, whom he in flip accuses of plotting with the United States to overthrow him.

The Constituent Assembly unanimously adopted a decree authorizing it to “take over functions to legislate on matters directly concerned with ensuring peace, security, sovereignty, the socio-economic and financial systems, state assets and upholding Venezuelans’ rights.”

The opposition-led National Assembly rejected the transfer.

“The NCA is null and its acts are illegal and unconstitutional,” the physique mentioned on its official Twitter account.

– Supreme public energy –

The center-right opposition says the brand new constituent meeting is a ploy by Maduro to tighten his grip on energy.

It was ostensibly set as much as rewrite the structure however has been handed sweeping powers to override all different branches of presidency.

“All the organs of public power are subordinate to the National Constituent Assembly,” mentioned the decree, learn out at Friday’s session.

The physique’s 545 members, all Maduro allies, have been elected on July 30 in polls marred by violence and allegations of fraud.

“We will not permit any more diverting of power” by the opposition, mentioned the meeting’s president, Maduro’s former international minister Delcy Rodriguez.

“The constituent assembly is here to impose order.”

One of the meeting’s first strikes after being elected was to fireplace the nation’s legal professional common Luisa Ortega, who had turn into Maduro’s most senior critic.

She hit again on Friday by claiming she had proof implicating Maduro and his interior circle in a world bribery scandal involving Brazilian development agency Odebrecht.

“They are very worried and anxious, because they know we have details on all the cooperation, amounts and people who got rich, and that investigation involves Mr Nicolas Maduro and his inner circle,” Ortega advised a gathering of Latin American prosecutors in Mexico by video convention.

– International concern –

International powers have accused Maduro of appearing undemocratically. The United States has imposed direct sanctions on him.

The socialist chief was elected in 2013 however is going through calls to give up from opponents offended at an financial disaster that’s inflicting starvation and lethal violence.

Nearly 130 folks have been killed this yr in a wave of anti-government protests.

The legislature — managed by the opposition since late 2015 — was the final state establishment nonetheless not held by Maduro’s allies.

The constituent meeting was arrange for a interval of two years, that means it could retain its powers past the tip of Maduro’s elected time period in workplace, which ends in 2019.

“Beyond just rewriting the constitution, it is turning itself into the de facto legislative body,” mentioned Diego Moya-Ocampos, a Venezuelan analyst with consultancy IHS Markit.

“That was one of the areas the government was looking to finally control.”

One of Maduro’s fiercest worldwide critics, the chief of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, known as for a particular assembly of the physique in response to the most recent strikes.

He denounced what he known as the “fraudulent dissolution” of the legislature.

US President Donald Trump warned every week in the past that that he was contemplating varied choices to resolve the Venezuela disaster, “including a possible military option if necessary.”

His Vice President Mike Pence softened that stance this week throughout a tour of Latin American international locations.

He mentioned he was certain democracy may very well be restored in Venezuela via financial and diplomatic strain.(AFP)