Venezuela’s Maduro to veto amnesty for political prisoners

President Maduro promises to veto amnesty for political prisoners

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he speaks during a meeting with governors and ministers at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, in this handout picture provided by Miraflores Palace on December 7, 2015.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday promised to veto amnesty legislation for political prisoners which was approved by Venezuela’s opposition-led legislature.

The new measure would set free political prisoners, criminals and gang leaders.

National Assembly speaker Henry Ramos Allup said the measure passed after a second round of debate. 

"This law is aimed at laying the foundations for national reconciliation," said lawmaker Delsa Solorzano, who sponsored the legislation.

President Maduro and his socialist party's minority lawmakers object to the new measure.

“I am assured that this law will not pass. Laws protecting terrorists and criminals will not go,” President Maduro said during a televised speech while the National Assembly was preparing to approve the bill.

“Do not go here, whatever you do, sir.”

The measure demands to set free almost 76 “political prisoners" and hundreds of others who have been "persecuted and exiled".

President Maduro gave a speech on national television while the debate was under way.

"You can be certain that that law will not be making it through here, sir. Laws that are out to benefit terrorists and criminals, they will not make it to enactment. No matter what you do," President Maduro said.

The Maduro government refuses to change economic policies that the opposition believes led to the worst economic crisis since the country's independence. New legislators plan to pressure the government into revealing inflation datas as well as launching investigations into corruption.

Moreover, according to a poll, some 63.6 percent of Venezuelans say Maduro should be removed through a recall referendum if he doesn’t quit this year, while some 29.3 percent of Venezuelans want him to keep serving until his mandate ends in 2019.

TRTWorld and agencies