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Venezuela court says it can take over Congress' powers
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's Supreme Court has ruled that it can take over responsibilities assigned to congress in what opponents of President Nicolas Maduro say is part of an attempt to install a dictatorship in the South American nation.
In a decision late Wednesday night, the magistrates said that as long as lawmakers remain in contempt of past court rulings nullifying all legislation coming out of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, the high court can assume congressional duties itself. The court's decisions have consistently backed the government.
Julio Borges, the assembly's president, said that while past decisions had stripped power from congress, this move allows Maduro to rule by fiat. Several opposition leaders called for a new round of street demonstrations.
"Maduro is now the National Assembly," he told The Associated Press. "It's one thing to try and build a dictatorship and another to complete the circuit."