Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice has approved Luis Parra as president of the opposition-led National Assembly (AN), saying there was "no constitutional violation" in January elections.
"The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) declared valid the Board of Directors of the National Assembly (AN) appointed on Jan. 5, 2020 for the 2020-2021 parliamentary term, which is confirming deputies Luis Eduardo Parra Rivero as president, Franklin Duarte as first vice president and Jose Gregorio Noriega as second vice president," the court said in a statement late Tuesday.
The rule prohibits "the installation of a parallel or virtual parliament" and warns that "any public or private person who lends or gives space for it will be considered in contempt, and any act exercised as such is void."
"... there is no action outside the framework of the constitutional and legally attributed competence of the new Board of Directors of the AN for the period 2020-2021, as well as no violation of any constitutional right by the legitimate members of it," it added, referring to the objections of the opposition led by Juan Guaido.
The dissident opposition legislator Parra was sworn in early January as the new president of the Assembly, ending his rival Guaido's term.
The session was held at the Federal Legislative Palace in Caracas and was attended by members of the National Constituent Assembly led by the Maduro government as part of the agreements reached with the opposition under the National Dialogue Table For Peace in September last year.
But Guaido and his lawmakers declared the session invalid after security officials blocked them from attending.
Then Guaido proclaimed himself as president of the AN, as he did in 2019 for the presidency of the country to oust President Nicolas Maduro's government. With a separate election, Guaido said his board received 100 votes in favor.
The opposition leader has not made any direct statement on the issue yet but retweeted comments of Juan Pablo Guanipa, his cabinet's first vice president for the Assembly.
Calling the Supreme Court of Justice a "shoddy court that does not exist," Guanipa said the only president of the Assembly is Guaido.
"What we have to do is intensify everything to get Venezuela out of this," he added.