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REDACTED Page 62 of 190 the constitution to enshrine the exclusivity of the Presidency on power.216 Although the reorganisation claimed to be based on the principle of separation of powers,217 the notion was completely distorted as the new framework was rearranged to be heavily de jure and de facto under the control and influence of the Presidency, without any effective accountability mechanism. The new constitution218 first reformed the legislative structure and granted it broad powers to appoint and dismiss the judges,219 in some cases with a simple majority vote.220 The President was also empowered to “designate and remove those officials whose appointment is made subject to his discretion by this Constitution or the law” and removed term limits on all public officials.221 With the PSUV majority in the National Constituent Assembly,222 Chávez dissolved the elected Congress (Congreso de la República) and implemented reforms that lead to the dismissal of all the members of the Supreme transformaciones democráticas. Venezolana de Television. [Online] Available from: impulsar-las-transformaciones-democraticas-2797.html [Accessed: 21 August, 2015] 216 Chávez explicitly stated that he would redefine the state in a letter to the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. This was reiterated and published in official documents by the Asamblea Nacional. SCRIBD. (1999- 2007) Memoria de una Revolución. Tomo I. [Online] Available from: [Accessed: 21 August, 2015]; Also see CARDONA, R. (1999) El congress y la CSJ son ilegitimos. El Universal . Available from: [Accessed: 21 August, 2015] The article states: Otra de las causas que provocó el pronunciamiento de la Corte Suprema fue una carta enviada por el primer mandatario, a los miembros de este tribunal. La esquela fue recibida en horas de la mañana, y su contenido acaparó la atención de todos los magistrados; sobre todo porque en ella Hugo Chávez hace énfasis en 'el principio de la exclusividad presidencial en la conducción del Estado”. 217 DEZALAY, Y. and GARTH, B. (eds.). (2011) Lawyers and the Rule of Law. Abingdon: Rutledge. p. 34 218 VENEZUELA. Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. (1999) [Online] Available from: [Accessed 11 September, 2015] 219 VENEZUELA. Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Title V, Chapter 1. (1999) 220 BREWER-CARÍAS, A.R. (ed.). (2010) Dismantling Democracy in Venezuela: The Chávez authoritarian experiment. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 124; GALLIGAN, D.J. VERSTEEG, M. (eds.). (2013) Social and Political Foundations of Constitutions. New York: Cambridge University Press 221 VENEZUELA. Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of VenezuelaCONSTITUIONAL SECTIONS ON LEGISLATURE. Title IV, Chapter 11, Article 236(16). (1999) 222 BREWER-CARAÍS, A.R. (2010) The 1999 Venezuelan Constitution- Making Process as an Instrument for Framing the Development of an Authoritarian Political Regime. In: Aucoin l. and Miller L.E. (eds.). Framing the State in Times of Transition. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 11 September, 2015] p. 513; Also see: ECONOMIST. (2002) Chávez ad the Judges. The Economist. [Online] 15 August. Available from: [Accessed 11 September, 2015]

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