Wednesday, May 1st 2013 - 06:04 UTC

Major brawl in Venezuelan congress over the disputed presidential election

Political tensions over Venezuela’s disputed presidential election boiled over Tuesday in the National Assembly as government and opposition lawmakers said they physically clashed.

Assembly president Cabello said that as long as the opposition does not recognize Maduro president, they will not be allowed to address the house

Lawmakers María Corina Machado and Julio Borges after the brawl (Photo Reuters)

”I'm not the only one who has been beaten. They have struck several lawmakers. (Assembly speaker) Diosdado Cabello has to be held to account personally,“ said opposition lawmaker Julio Borges.

He said he was denied the right to speak in the assembly by the body, which is controlled by a majority loyal to socialist President Nicolas Maduro, because opposition lawmakers have not recognized Maduro's reelection.

So the ruling party majority voted to deny opposition lawmakers their right to speak in the forum to which they were elected, Borges said.

A combative Cabello told the opposition legislators -- many of whom shouted in protest and frantically blew whistles -- that ”as long as (national) authorities are not recognized and the Republic's institutions are not recognized... the ladies and gentlemen of the opposition can go talk to (TV network) Globovision, to (newspaper) El Nacional.

“But they won't be doing it here” in the assembly, Cabello said.

Authorities on Monday began a partial audit of the disputed election won by Maduro, the late Hugo Chavez's handpicked successor, as the opposition rejected the move as insufficient.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who says he was the real winner of the April 14 presidential vote, has accused election officials of rejecting his appeal for a full recount on the orders of the ruling Socialist Party.

The National Electoral Board has ruled that Maduro won by 1.49% of the vote, amending an earlier tally that had Maduro up by 1.8%. The Board has insisted it is legally impossible to carry out a full recount, and that no audit can reverse Maduro's win.

Capriles, a businessman, lawyer and Miranda state governor, has said he will not accept anything short of a full recount and alleges that some voters cast multiple ballots or even voted on behalf of the dead.

Both the government and the opposition have urged their supporters to turn out for massive street demonstrations planned for May 1.

Spain has offered to mediate between government and the opposition. But on Tuesday Maduro shot down the offer with an insult, calling the Spanish Foreign Minister “impertinent”.

“Mr Foreign Minister, get your snout out of Venezuela.... Just get out of here, you impertinent Spanish foreign minister,” he said. ”Respect Venezuela”.


9 comments Feed

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1 Boovis (#) May 01st, 2013 - 07:38 am Report abuse
Ah, yes, the sign of mature and responsible representatives. Absolutely pathetic.
2 Stevie (#) May 01st, 2013 - 08:13 am Report abuse
Nothing the western nations do to protect their interests in SA works.

The desesperation is palpable :)
3 Bongo (#) May 01st, 2013 - 09:13 am Report abuse
Lock 'em in and let them get on with it. Last one standing gets to be president.
4 Boovis (#) May 01st, 2013 - 09:16 am Report abuse
@2: what are you talking about?
5 ChrisR (#) May 01st, 2013 - 11:16 am Report abuse
I wonder if the little bird got itself docked on the beak?

What a bunch of commie twats the new goverment is.

6 Conqueror (#) May 01st, 2013 - 01:46 pm Report abuse
@2 Sorry? Isn't the whole of South America “western”? It's certainly west of the Prime Meridian. Even Nazi Germany, the role model for much of latin america, was “western”. Wasn't this a punch-up between two groups of latinos? One that didn't like the result and one that had “fixed” it. I thought you latinos were used to fixed election results. Why spend all that money buying votes if it doesn't “fix” the results? But I agree that Maduro's desperation is palpable. How could he lose if the little birdie (spirit of Chavez) said he would win? Taking on your comments on another article, might it be that you are biased? After all, from your various comments, you are notably pro-argie, pro-CFK, pro-Mujica wimp, pro-Chavez, pro-Iran, anti “north-western”, anti-free speech (unless it's yours), anti-real democracy, anti-intelligence, anti-“proper” education.
7 Britworker (#) May 01st, 2013 - 07:19 pm Report abuse
Banana republic at its finest
8 Sergio Vega (#) May 01st, 2013 - 10:02 pm Report abuse
This how the “democratic” socialist Gvts. act. We have had a domonstration here in Chile in the 70's which led us to an almost civil war avoided by the military (for our good luck they were constitutionalist ones so they returned us to the right way ...). Venezuelan people isn't lucky enough because their military is socialist declared.....
9 Stevie (#) May 01st, 2013 - 10:36 pm Report abuse
Another Pinochet muppet...
Tell you what, NeXT time you'll have no Allende to stop us


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