CARACAS – The Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) suspended on Tuesday the ban on opposition leader and former Zulia state Gov. Manuel Rosales from holding public office, and so annulled a decision imposed by the Comptroller’s Office in 2014.
A ruling published on the TSJ Web site stated that the court declared “appropriate” the former governor’s plea for precautionary protection, suspending the decision of the Comptroller’s Office that disqualified Rosales from holding office for a period of seven years and six months.
The TSJ also stated that it agreed to suspend that decision until a final ruling is made that determines the merit of the current controversy.
Rosales, who was also a presidential candidate in 2006, said on his Twitter account that the plea for annulment and precautionary protection against the decision of the Comptroller’s Office were introduced in 2015.
The opposition leader also said that such disqualifications are a perverse measure used at the government’s convenience to destroy the opposition’s leadership.
He said the government is out to divide the opposition “because that is the only way it can stay in power.”
The decision to suspend the disqualification of Rosales from holding office was revealed days after a new election was called to elect a governor for Zulia state, following the refusal of the governor elected last Oct. 15, opposition member Juan Pablo Guanipa, to be sworn-in before the National Constituent Assembly, 100 percent occupied by the ruling party.
Rosales, who was accused of suspected illicit enrichment during his term as governor of Zulia state, was detained in October 2015 after six years in exile, on the basis of an arrest warrant in a case brought against him by the Attorney General’s Office in 2009.
However, he was released on Dec. 31 of the same year under a prohibition to leave the country and orders to appear regularly in court.