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Anger as Venezuela's top court takes over functions of congress

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By Seamus Kearney
Anger as Venezuela's top court takes over functions of congress

“The president has carried out a coup d’etat!”

Those the words of the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly after the Supreme Court ruled it would take over the functions of the opposition-led congress.

The judges, seen as supporters of President Nicolas Maduro, have annulled many of the assembly’s decisions and claims it did not properly deal with a vote-buying scandal.

National Assembly President Julio Borges told a rally: “This is a ruling against a people who voted for change in their country.

“The Supreme Court believes it can walk over the Venezuelan people.

“In the name of the people, I want to say clearly what this ruling means to us.”

Borges then went ahead and ripped up the court’s ruling, to the applause of those gathered.

“This is simply trash,” he said.

The Organisation of American States has backed up the National Assembly President, also accusing Maduro of carrying out what it calls a “coup” and an attack on democracy.

Numerous countries also condemned the court verdict, while Peru recalled its ambassador to Venezuela.

The opposition took control of Congress in 2015.