The Venezuelan opposition on Wednesday protested against a Supreme Court decision that banned protests near the offices of the National Electoral Council. Venezuela’s high court, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, recently banned demonstrations defined as “unauthorized acts, marches, protests, gatherings,” as well as “violent demonstrations” near the offices of the electoral council, known as the CNE. The Democratic Unity Roundtable, or MUD, opposition coalition in the past month has led protests nationwide demanding the CNE comply with the opposition’s efforts to initiate a recall referendum on President Nicolas Maduro.
“The first thing I want to tell the whole country is that there’s no ruling, measure or anything that’s going to keep us from going to the National Elections Council to demand respect for … the constitution,” Henrique Capriles, governor of Venezuela’s Miranda state and a key opposition leader who almost defeated Maduro in a 2013 election, said during the protest.
The MUD in late April complied with the electoral council’s requirement to gather signatures to proceed with the recall effort. The MUD collected more than 1 million signatures out of the nearly 200,000 that were needed.