MARACAIBO —The government of Nicolás Maduro will advance an unconstitutional “makeup” in the coming days by reforming the judiciary, aggravating the lack of separation of powers in Venezuela, the opposition to Chavismo warned this Tuesday in a debate of the Parliament elected in 2015.
The ruling party, which holds a majority in the National Assembly voted in 2020 -the opposition ignores it as a legitimate power due to alleged electoral fraud-, reduced in December the number of magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice and, after months of debate, is preparing to appoint new judges.
The anti-Chavista deputies value this reform as a “make-up” that violates the Constitution, according to Delsa Solórzano, a parliamentarian elected seven years ago.
“Let’s not pretend that the system of administration of justice is going to be resolved with a makeover of a change of magistrates. This possibility does not exist”, said Solórzano in the discussion of the delegated commission that represents the Parliament of 2015.
The opposition considers that this National Assembly, where it had a majority, is the only legally constituted institution in Venezuela. In addition, he accuses Maduro of usurping power since January 2019 and demands to repeat the presidential elections with better conditions, under proven international observation.
The Chavismo and opposition delegations were expected to agree on a reform and democratization of the judiciary in Mexico, at the negotiating table facilitated by the Kingdom of Norway. The ruling party withdrew from that dialogue five months ago alleging that the United States boycotted it.
Chavismo, according to Solórzano, “has attempted to promote an unconstitutional reform of the justice system.” The deputy denounced that the imminent appointment of new magistrates seeks to “evade” the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC), investigating crimes against humanity In Venezuela.
Excesses and hidden agendas
The ruling party defended the legality of the reduction of magistrates from 32 to 20. Its deputies, elected in December 2020 in a vote disputed by a large part of the international community, already have in their hands a refined list of candidates to occupy those positions. in the Supreme Court.
Juan Guaidó, president of the Parliament of 2015 and whom 50 governments recognize as the president in charge of the South American country since 2019, participated in the debate this Tuesday, held by videoconference.
Maduro’s allies allowed the current magistrates to aspire to be ratified. That proposal violates the Constitution, in addition to the fact that it would be carried out by an “illegitimate” Parliament, said Deputy Tamara Adrián, on her behalf.
“They cannot participate because it would exceed the 12-year limit established by the Constitution,” he told his opposition parliamentary colleagues.
A judiciary “tailored to the regime” of Maduro would be the desire of the ruling party with the reform, according to legislator Yajaira Castro.
“It seeks to whitewash a file that adds more than 200 political prisoners, persecutions, torture, extrajudicial executions and severe accusations of systematic violations of human rights,” he said.
Solórzano also insisted that justice in Venezuela is “non-existent” and cited the updated report of the United Nations Independent Fact-Finding Mission about the South American country. “It marks the lack of due process, the absolute absence of this human right,” he said.
For her, it is “unthinkable” that a reform of the judiciary by the Maduro “regime” could result in an independent justice system.