Venezuela seeks to annul vote to reinstate lawmakers

A member of Venezuela's opposition waves a national flag in front of police during a demonstration in Caracas (AFP Photo/Juan Barreto) (AFP)

Caracas (AFP) - Venezuela's attorney general made a request to nullify the National Assembly's decision to reinstate three lawmakers accused of voting fraud.

The opposition-controlled National Assembly swore in three suspended lawmakers from the southern state Amazonas Thursday, which the attorney general's office said "has generated an absolutely unconstitutional and unlawful situation that cannot be recognized or supported by agencies and entities of public administration."

Venezuela's highest court had suspended the three lawmakers in January after they were accused of buying votes in December's legislative election.

The decision to reinstate the lawmakers comes as the Venezuelan government asked electoral authorities Tuesday to ban the opposition coalition seeking to oust President Nicolas Maduro in a recall vote, accusing them of massive fraud.

A recent poll found 64 percent of Venezuelans would vote to remove Maduro, who has declared a state of emergency and given his military sweeping powers over food production and distribution.

Venezuela's economic tailspin is threatening 17 years of socialist rule under Maduro and his late predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

The opposition's recall referendum push comes after it won legislative elections in December, only to find its power stymied by the Supreme Court.

Maduro's opponents allege he controls both the high court and the electoral authority.

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