President Manduro leadership challenged - Whisper Eye

President Manduro leadership challenged

The leader of Venezuela’s opposition-led congress said on Friday he was prepared to assume the country’s presidency on an interim basis and call elections, just one day after leftist President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a disputed second term.

Juan Guaido, a lawmaker from the hard-line Popular Will opposition party who was elected to head the National Assembly on Jan. 5, said he would only take office with support of the armed forces. He also called for protests on Jan. 23, the anniversary of the fall of a military dictatorship in 1958.

“It should be the people of Venezuela, the armed forces, and the international community that give us a clear mandate to assume” the presidency, Guaido said in a speech to supporters outside the United Nations (U.N.) program office in Caracas.

Maduro was re-elected last year in a vote that was widely dismissed as fraudulent, and countries around the world have called his continued leadership illegitimate. Ruling Socialist Party leaders have described the criticism as colonialist interference led by the United States.

The Supreme Court and an all-powerful legislature called the Constituent Assembly have stripped Congress of its powers, meaning it does not have the capacity to remove the president as would a legislature in many countries.

Guaido’s comments, however, caused some confusion.

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