Venezuelan apex court reverses ruling on Congress

Indo Asian News Service

Caracas, April 2 (IANS) Venezuela's Supreme Court has reversed a controversial ruling on the Congress that some feared threatened to disrupt the balance of powers.

President Nicolas Maduro asked the apex court in a late-night speech on Saturday to review the ruling that sparked a crisis, Xinhua news agency reported.

The dispute erupted on Wednesday after the court announced it was taking over some legislative functions, as the National Assembly was in contempt of court, rendering its actions ineffective.

The opposition-controlled assembly, however, claimed the move was a virtual coup designed to dissolve the legislature.

The nation's Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz also questioned the validity of the court's measure on Friday, leading all sides to review the decision.

While announcing it was overturning its original ruling, the Supreme Court ratified its commitment to the rule of law.

Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno in a statement said the different branches of government "operate independently, and any conflicts that arise can be resolved in keeping with the constitutional order".

Moreno said the constitutional court "guaranteed parliamentary faculties will be exercised directly" by Parliament.

The National Assembly has been considered to be in contempt of court since members ignored the court and arranged for three opposition deputies to be sworn in last year, although their election wins were being investigated for voter fraud.

--IANS

py/vt