Venezuela’s National Assembly on Wednesday is expected to respond to a recent Supreme Court ruling that said all actions taken by the legislature are invalid until three opposition deputies are unseated.
The body, which was sworn-in less than two weeks ago, has been hamstrung by a growing power struggle, and failed to meet on Tuesday as scheduled.
Late Monday, the court found that the new opposition-controlled congress was acting illegally after it swore in deputies from Amazon State despite a judicial investigation into voter fraud.
Critics say the courts, controlled by the ruling party, are trying to undermine the results of the Dec. 6 election where the opposition won by a landslide and took control of congress for the first time in 17 years.
National Assembly President Henry Ramos told El Universal that President Nicolás Maduro would be providing his annual report to congress on Friday. But it’s unclear whether the president will appear before the body that he and his followers say is acting unconstitutionally.
The impasse has put a number of key measures on hold. Maduro had said he would be presenting an “economic emergency” bill, as the nation is saddled with one of the highest inflation rates in the world, a shrinking economy and food shortages. The opposition has been planning to push it’s flagship bill to release political prisoners.
“In the best-case scenario, the threat of political gridlock will grow over the next few months as the Venezuelan government and National Assembly vie for power,” wrote U.S.-based intelligence firm Stratfor. “But at worst, major demonstrations capable of destabilizing the government could break out sometime in 2016.”