Venezuelan president seeks special powers to fight corruption

Venezuelan president seeks special powers to fight corruption
# 17 August 2013 02:09 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Friday said his administration plans to request that the National Assembly (AN) approve an "enabling law" that would give him special powers to fight corruption, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"I am going to ask for an enabling law to arrive at a more far- reaching process and establish stricter norms to fight corruption, and apply the maximum penalties possible, in keeping with legislation, to punish all crimes," said Maduro at a campaign event in the capital Caracas for ruling party candidates in upcoming local elections in December.

"We are going to vaccinate Venezuela's democracy and public sector (against corruption), so I am going to ask the AN for the enabling constitutional authority," said Maduro.

An "enabling law" serves as a constitutional tool that gives the president the legal power to issue decrees during emergency situations affecting the country.

Such a law would have to be approved by the AN with a three- fifths majority of the 165 deputies that make up the assembly, but the ruling socialist bloc has only 98 deputies, one shy of the number needed for Maduro's petition to pass.

Addressing the campaign event, Maduro reiterated his criticism of corruption, saying such practices are not exclusive to the public sector, but also permeate the private sector.

Maduro's comments came in the wake of a parliamentary debate Tuesday, at which ruling party legislators condemned pro-business opposition Justice First Party leader Henrique Capriles and the opposition in general of corrupt practices.

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