Venezuela votes to begin impeachment of President Nicolas Maduro
Caracas, Oct 26 Venezuela's National Assembly has voted to begin impeachment proceedings against President Nicolas Maduro for violating democracy, media reports said.
As the decision came on the eve of expected massive protests across the nation, Maduro's government has dismissed the move as meaningless, The Telegraph reported.
On October 19, the National Assembly's plan to hold a referendum to try and recall Maduro, 53, was blocked by the Supreme Court.
With that avenue closed, the opposition coalition has raised the stakes, using its power base in congress to begin legal action against the President.
Maduro made a trip to the Vatican on October 24, where Pope Francis attempted to reconcile the diametrically opposed factions in Venezuela. Opposition leader Jesus Torrealba later announced that talks would be held with the government
But on Wednesday, the opposition rallies its supporters for "The Takeover of Venezuela" and demand the ouster of Maduro.
"In Venezuela we are battling Satan!" said another opposition leader.
His impeachment is unlikely to proceed through the National Assembly as the Supreme Court, which Maduro controls has ruled that measures in congress are null and void until it removes three politicians linked to vote-buying claims.
The National Assembly ordered Maduro to appear at a session next Tuesday and said it would also consider charges of abandoning his post.