Venezuela's Supreme Court has dismissed the entire board of the party from opposition leader Juan Guaidó. The Voluntad Popular party was placed under "constitutional guardianship" and the current board was "suspended", said the court, which is considered to be loyal to the government. The party leadership will be transferred to the Guaidó rival José Gregorio Noriega, who will replace the founder and party leader of Voluntad Popular, Leopoldo López.
The new leadership of Voluntad Popular may use "the old party's logo, symbols, colors and any other sign" after the court order. Critics accuse President Nicolás Maduro of wanting to maintain the appearance of a democratic election, but actually letting his supporters run under the name of the opposition parties. Similar measures had already been taken in mid-June against two other opposition parties with many seats in the National Assembly.
The National Assembly is the only state institution controlled by the opposition. However, it has been practically incapable of action for years, since the highest court has annulled all of Parliament's decisions since 2017. The opposition parties want to boycott the new elections scheduled for December because they accuse the government of manipulating the elections.
López announced on Twitter to continue fighting and not let the danger to himself be dissuaded from it. He had fled to the Spanish embassy in Caracas last year. López had been Guiadó's political mentor, who had been campaigning with Maduro for about a year and a half.
The opposition leader declared himself the transition president of Venezuela in January 2019. It is officially recognized by over 60 countries, including the United States and Germany. Nicolás Maduro remains in power despite the country's economic crisis and international sanctions. It is supported by the military domestically and also maintains links with Russia and China.