Maduro Slams as “Null” Parliamentary Motion to Unseat Food Minister

Lucas Koerner (VA) : Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has denounced as “null” a motion by the country’s opposition-controlled parliament to remove the food minister, after the latter failed to show up for a scheduled hearing on food shortages.

Nicolas Maduro (archives)

Nicolas Maduro (archives)

During an ordinary session on Thursday, a three-fifths majority of the National Assembly voted to censure Food Minister Rodolfo Marco Torres, ordering his removal from the post and disqualification from holding future positions in the current government.

President Maduro, for his part, dismissed the motion as “null” arguing that it was “approved illegally”.

According to the head of state, the motion was passed in violation of a recent Supreme Court decision that declared that the National Assembly must publish its agenda a full 48 hours prior to each session, prohibiting the body from making last minute modifications.

The motion to censor Marco Torres was not announced with due anticipation, the president added.

“Let it be clear that the National Assembly must adhere to all parts of the Supreme Court ruling and they have simply declared that they are not going to follow it,” he said.

Maduro promised that he would pass a decree to “render ineffective” any “sabotage” passed by the body against “any minister or organ of government”, but offered no details.

National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup rejected the ruling as political given that the previous Chavista-majority parliament was not bound by the same rules.

He vowed not to abide by the high court decision, confirming that the censorship motion will stand.

The Venezuelan National Assembly is authorized under Article 10 of the Constitution to censor ministers or the vice-president provided that the motion is backed by a three-fifths majority and is announced 48 hours prior to discussion.

Lucas Koerner, Venezuelanalysis

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