Thursday, June 24, 2004

Vzla: New Law Threatens Judiciary, says Human Rights Watch


A New York-based international human rights organization says a new law in Venezuela threatens the independence of the nation's judiciary by allowing allies of President Hugo Chavez to stack the Supreme Court with his supporters.

In a report released Thursday, Human Rights Watch says the law signed by President Chavez in May expands Venezuela's highest court from 20 to 32 members and gives his governing coalition in the legislature the power to appoint new judges and nullify the appointments of those already on the bench.

The coalition holds a slim majority in Venezuela's National Assembly.

Human Rights Watch says a Supreme Court filled with supporters of Mr. Chavez could decide any disputes rising from a presidential recall vote scheduled August 15.
More marching toward Marx...

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