The EU has criticized the process of electing the Venezuelan President of Parliament. "These irregularities are not in line with a legitimate electoral process for the President of the National Assembly," said a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. "They represent a new step in the worsening of the Venezuelan crisis." The EU would therefore continue to recognize Juan Guaidó as President of Parliament. This continued until an appropriate choice had been made.
Allies of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro had tried to inaugurate President Juan Guaidó. National guardsmen had prevented Guaidó and others from entering the parliament building when the election of the chairman of the National Assembly was on the agenda. The independent press was also excluded from the meeting. In the election of the parliamentary president, the parliament subsequently split and elected two competing chairs. Around 100 opposition MPs confirmed the previous chairman and self-appointed interim president Guaidó in office. By contrast, parliamentarians from the government-loyal Socialist Unity Party and apostates from the opposition alliance elected Luis Parra as the new parliament president.
Until December, Parra belonged to the opposition party Primero Justicia, which is part of the alliance around Guaidó. He was expelled from his party after opposition officials accused him of trying to win other high-bribery MPs for Maduro.
Venezuela - National Guard does not let Juan Guaidó into parliament The opposition leader Juan Guaido was denied access to the people's representation. His rival Luis Parra then declared himself the new parliament president. © Photo: Andrea Hernandez Briceño / dpa
According to supporters of Guaidó, Parra's election took place in the congress building without the necessary quorum. Parras supporters, on the other hand, stated that he had been elected in accordance with the rules with 84 votes from 150 MPs present. The Venezuelan parliament consists of 165 people's representatives.
The US government congratulated Guaidó after the election. He was the "legitimate leader of the National Assembly and thus the legitimate transition president of Venezuela," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The USA, like Germany, is one of the more than 50 states that recognize Guaidó as head of state.
Venezuela is in a crisis. A power struggle has been raging in the South American country for about a year. Guaidó was elected President of the National Assembly in early 2019 because his opposition party, Voluntad Popular, was rotatingly in the chair. On January 23, he declared himself interim president of the country and openly challenged head of state Maduro.