Maduro’s presidential term is illegitimate – Venezuelan bishops

Maduro’s presidential term is illegitimate – Venezuelan bishops Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro. Photo: REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

The bishops of Venezuela have said that Nicolas Maduro’s swearing in for a second term as president is illegitimate.

“The claim to be initiating a new presidential term of office on January 10, 2019 is illegitimate in its origin and opens the door to the nonrecognition of the government, since it lacks democratic support in justice and law,” the Venezuelan bishops’ conference wrote in an exhortation issued at their plenary assembly.

They recalled their statement of July 11, 2018 that the presidential election held in May “was illegitimate, as is likewise the Constituent National Assembly established by the executive authority. We are faced with arbitrary rule, without respect for the guarantees laid down in the Constitution or the highest principles of the dignity of the people.” Maduro was sworn in for his second six-year term on January 10 before the Supreme Court, instead of the opposition-controlled legislature, the National Assembly. The National Assembly has been superseded by the Constituent Assembly, formed in 2017 after contested elections.