Two Venezuelan lawmakers claim Speaker role

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Two lawmakers in Venezuela have both declared themselves parliamentary Speaker after a tumultuous day in the country’s politics.

US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó and rival Luis Parra both claimed to be Speaker of the National Assembly on Sunday.

Mr Guaidó, who was aiming to be re-elected to the post, said police stopped him entering parliament.

Last January, Mr Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s interim president – a move that was quickly backed by almost 60 countries, including the US and UK – after disputing President Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election.

His position at the head of the opposition-led National Assembly was the basis of his claim to be Venezuela’s legitimate head of state.

But after a year of failed attempts to oust President Maduro, he has been struggling to maintain unity among the opposition.

On Sunday he was quick to back Luis Parra, a former Guaidó ally, saying Mr Guaidó had been “kicked out of the National Assembly by the votes of his own opposition”.

State broadcasters later described Mr Parra as the new Speaker.

The handling of the vote was condemned by the US, the EU, and several Latin American nations.

Via The Financial Times/BBC/CNN

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