Updated 07:29 AM EST, Tue, Nov 24, 2020

Venezuelan Socialist Party Refuses to Transfer Power to Opposition? Outgoing Congress Appoints 13 New Supreme Court Justices

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Venezuela's Socialist Party refuses to transfer power to the opposition. Venezuelan Congress named 13 justices to the Supreme Court in a maneuver, which has sparked much criticism saying that this was a last-minute scheme by the Socialist Party before it loses control of the legislature in January.

For the first time in over a decade, the opposition claimed a rare victory in the election held last December 6. The country's opposition, represented by the Democratic Unity coalition, won 99 seats, while the government's United Socialist Party had won 46 seats. Since the opposition's victory, the ruling Socialist Party has already accelerated the approval of laws, funding requests and made new appointments, Yahoo News reports.

Voters have expressed dissatisfaction over the country's failing economy and rising crime rates. This is the first time that the opposition will be in control of the Assembly since a new Constitution was passed in 1999, shortly after the election of leftist Hugo Chávez.

The country is still overwhelmed with a shortage of basic food supplies, such as eggs and bread. Political analysts said in a report with Inquirer.net that even with the opposition's victory, Maduro still has power until 2019. Things do not look well for Venezuela in 2016, they said.  

The new Assembly is to be sworn in on January 5. This set up a power struggle with Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, who has since then showed no intention of wanting to work with the new majority. Maduro has also adopted a more defensive tone, New York Times reports.

Maduro is convinced that the new majority plans to make major changes to the country by rolling back social programs and looking to seek privatization on state agencies. Maduro has since then backed the creation of a parallel "communal" assembly in order to counteract the opposition's win.

The Venezuelan Supreme Court consists of 32 justices across six chambers, reports Yahoo. These justices have the authority to permit criminal proceedings against the president, vice president, ministers and lawmakers. The appointed justices are also allowed to prohibit laws passed by the National Assembly.

Politicians from the opposition reported that 34 members of the high court, which included justices and their substitutes, were either forced to resign or retire earlier this year. The opposition said that this was done in order to have the Socialist Party replace them before they lose power in January. The Socialist Party denied those claims.

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