Venezuela’s opposition suffered another blow on Tuesday after three of its MPs finally heeded a court order demanding their resignation. The three politicians had been banned from the National Assembly in January this year by the Supreme Court under allegations of fraud.
However, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) – a coalition of right-wing parties – defied the ruling by reinstating them in July, creating a crisis where the assembly was deemed to be sitting in breach of the constitution.
Following Vatican-mediated talks between MUD and President Nicolás Maduro’s United Socialist Party (PSUV), the two sides agreed that Julio Ygarza, Nirma Guarulla, and Romel Guzamana should step down.
Assembly Deputy Héctor Rodríguez welcomed the decision, saying, “We hope this signifies a change in attitude, which abandons the attitude of contempt for the constitution and assumes responsible leadership.”
Resignation of the three MUD MPs removes the opposition’s supermajority in the National Assembly.
“The process begins for the National Assembly to respect the Supreme Court, respect the Constitution, meaning that there will be elections in Amazonas [state] very soon,” Mr. Maduro said during his salsa radio show.
MUD also took a major hit last month when the National Electoral Council ruled that a recall referendum against the socialist government would almost certainly not take place until after the crucial mid-January cut-off date – after which the PSUV would remain in power regardless of the vote.
This article originally appeared in the Morning Star newspaper in Britain.