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REDACTED Page 63 of 190 Tribunal of Justice (Tribunal Supremo de Justicia) and a total of one third of the judiciary.223 These positions were subsequently filled by individuals loyal to the President.224 In effect, Chávez reframed the Presidency as an institution that took over the legislative organ, neutralized the independence of the judiciary225 and of the Office of Public Prosecutions (Ministerio Público de Venezuela) and took control of the national security forces (including the National Police, the intelligence services, the National Guard and the Army)226 placing the Presidency in a position of de facto control over the whole state apparatus. a)The Presidency’s control over the Legislature since 1999 The new 1999 Constitution established a one-Chamber National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional), ending the tradition of bicameralism227 and included a provision to allow the delegation of legislative power to the President by way of enabling laws.228 Using PSUV’s majority at the National Assembly,229 three enabling laws were enacted giving the authority to Chávez to legislate without checks and balances for a total period of 4 and a half years.230 He enacted 54 laws in 1999, 49 laws in 2000,231 58 laws in 223 DEZALAY AND GARTH. (2011) 224 REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS. (2010) El Gobierno de Hugo Chávez Toma el Control de los Medios de Comunicación. Reporters Without Borders. [Online] 23th June. Available from:,38014.html [Accessed: 21 August, 2015]; The General ProsecutorGeneral Prosecutor’s Office was restructured to fall under the Citizen Power Branch, one of the two new branches of Government created by the new constitution (Constitution of Venezuela, Title V, Chapter IV) 225 HRW. (2004) Rigging the Rule of Law: Judicial Independence Under Siege in Venezuela. Human Rights Watch. [Online] 16 June. Available from: rule-law/judicial-independence-under-siege-venezuela [Accessed 23 August, 2015] ; also see: NPR. (2010) Venezuela's Chávez Tightens Grip On Judiciary. National Public Radio. [Online] 27 April. Available from: [Accessed 27 August, 2015]; 226 VENEZUELA. Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Title IV, Chapter 11, Article 236. (1999) 227 BREWER-CARÍAS. (2010) Dismantling Democracy in Venezuela: The Chávez authoritarian experiment. p.201 228 “Enabling laws are those enacted by a three-fifths vote of the members of the National Assembly to establish the guidelines, purposes, and framework for matters that are being delegated to the President of the Republic, with the rank and force of a law. Enabling laws must stipulate the duration of their exercise.” (Constitution of Venezuela, Article 203) 229 BREWER-CARAÍS, A.R. (2010) The 1999 Venezuelan Constitution- Making Process as an Instrument for Framing the Development of an Authoritarian Political Regime; ECONOMIST. (2002) Chávez ad the Judges 230 Six months in 1999, 12 months in 2000, 18 months in 2007 and 24 months in 2010. See: ULTIMAS NOTICIAS (2013). Cuatro Leyes Habilitantes en 13 años. Ultimas Noticias. [Online] 8 October. Available from: leyes-habilitantes-en-13-anos.aspx [Accessed: 22 August, 2015]; and SÁNCHEZ, D. (2013) En 13 años han sido aprobadas cuatro leyes habilitantes. Nuevodia. [Online] 15 October. Available from: [Accessed: 22 August, 2015]; also see: IACHR. (2009) Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. of 4 and a half years.230 He enacted 54 laws in 1999, 49 laws in 2000,23158 laws in

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