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Venezuela's attorney general to sue opposition parliament

By Andrew V. Pestano
Venezuela's attorney general to sue opposition parliament
Reinaldo Muñoz, center, Venezuela's attorney general, has ordered his agency to file a lawsuit against the opposition-controlled National Assembly legislature over "unconstitutional actions." Photo courtesy of Reinaldo Muñoz

CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Venezuela's attorney general announced he will file a lawsuit against the opposition-controlled National Assembly over "unconstitutional actions."

Attorney General Reinaldo Muñoz ordered his agency on Monday to file a lawsuit over the National Assembly's recent declaration that President Nicolas Maduro's regime staged a coup d'etat.

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"Politicians who control the National Assembly must put limits on their ambitions. They may not try to repeal the rule of law by mere proselytism," Muñoz said in a statement.

The National Assembly was declared defunct by Venezuela's supreme court earlier this year -- an act the opposition said shows how the country's institutions favor Maduro's regime.

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"The National Assembly rashly intends to commit a fraud to the law and to the constitution, when it tries to apply an act of political justice against the president of the republic as it does not exist in the constitution nor in the rest of the Venezuelan legal system," the Attorney General's Office said in a statement.

The National Assembly recently said Maduro would stand trial after the opposition's efforts to carry out a recall referendum were suspended by the National Electoral Council, which is also accused of favoring Maduro. The opposition lawmakers said Maduro staged a coup d'etat by ordering unconstitutional actions.

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Muñoz said the National Assembly's claim that Maduro staged an unconstitutional coup d'etat and its intent to make Maduro stand trial are grounds for legal repercussions.

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"The Attorney General of the Republic, exercising his constitutional and legal powers, and to its ultimate competencies, activates a lawsuit against the National Assembly to the appropriate authorities, in order that the most effective measures are taken to the comprehensive protection of the state and nation, given the persistence of unconstitutional actions of the legislative body that make a whole claim to a coup, a systematic attack on the Constitution, and sustained threat to peace, development and the stability of the nation," the Attorney General's Office added.

The unicameral parliament on Tuesday delayed the symbolic trial of Maduro to ease tension amid political crisis talks.

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