Venezuelan state television announced Sunday that dissident opposition legislator Luis Parra had been sworn in as the new president of the country’s National Assembly, ending his rival Juan Guaido’s term.
Guaido, who declared himself interim president early last year and is recognized as the country’s legitimate leader by the U.S., most Latin American countries and the European Union, has been engaged in a year-long power battle with Venezuela’s elected president Nicolas Maduro.
Parra, who was expelled last month from the opposition Justice First Party over corruption allegations, was sworn in as the new president of the National Assembly to exercise the duties of the office during the new 2020 parliamentary term, Venezuelan TV reported.
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 they were violently blocked from attending it by security officials.
No official statement has been made on the voting process.
Guaido said on Twitter that whoever helps prevent the legitimate installation of the Venezuelan parliament becomes an accomplice of the dictatorship and an accomplice of those who are oppressing the people of Venezuela and will be exposed to the world.
In early September, the Maduro government and five opposition party leaders announced they had agreed to start a new dialogue process to tackle the problems faced by the OPEC nation, as crude oil is the country’s main export.
The Mesa Nacional or National Table process was established to focus on future elections, prisoner releases and a unified opposition to the U.S. blockade.