Venezuela’s Legislature Paralysed by Mass Absenteeism, Say Socialists

by RYAN MALLETT-OUTTRM

venezuelanalysis.com | 07 October, 2016

The AN has been forced to cancel 24 sessions since January due to MUD absentees, according to socialist legislators. (Archive/Cd

The AN has been forced to cancel 24 sessions since January due to MUD absentees, according to socialist legislators. (Archive/CdO)

Puebla, Mexico, October 7, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan socialist legislators accused Thursday their opposition counterparts of repeatedly failing to turn up for sessions of the National Assembly.

So far this year, the National Assembly (AN) has failed to meet quorum 24 times due to mass absences of opposition legislators, according to pro-government legislator Gilberto Pinto Blanco.

“This bourgeois Assembly is wasting time, and making us all look bad,” he said, after another failed attempt to meet quorum this week.

Another pro-government legislator, Hector Rodriguez, took to Twitter to demand the main opposition bloc, the MUD, ensure its representatives turn up to work.

“More than 20 times, the MUD has not been able to summon its legislators to meet quorum: stop wasting Venezuela’s time,” he tweeted.

Since gaining a majority in the AN in last year’s December elections, the MUD has vowed to undertake widespread political reforms. However, most of the AN’s major decisions have been blocked by the Supreme Court, while the ruling socialist party has accused the opposition of becoming disinterested in the day to day affairs of the legislature.

The mass absences of MUD legislators began almost immediately after they officially took control of the AN. A week after the AN was sworn in on January 5, MUD legislators began failing to turn up en masse. The first session had to be cancelled to to insufficient numbers was on January 12, after the Supreme Court blocked the swearing in of a group of legislators over allegations of electoral irregularities.

Since then, things have not gotten much better, according to Pinto Blanco. He complained that when the MUD do show up, they show little regard for due process, and routinely violate AN rules.

The current AN is the first in over a decade to not be controlled by the ruling socialist party, the PSUV. However, without meeting quorum, the AN is unable to pass legislation.

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SOURCE: https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/12714

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