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Pro-government deputies to designate TSJ judges

The National Assembly is to convene a special session next week to designate 17 judges of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ), said ruling party MVR lawmaker Cilia Flores.

Even though it is an obligation to seek consensus, she warned that if opposition parliamentarians refuse to take part in the special session, "then we, at a fourth special session, and with the votes of the Bloque del Cambio (comprised by the deputies supporting President Hugo Chávez), are going to designate them (the TSJ judges)."

Flores explained that, under the law governing the TSJ, the lawmakers at the National Assembly have three sessions to reach an agreement to designate the judges of the country's top court, official news agency Venpres informed.

"We have doubts that the opposition is willing to participate in this process, as they never agreed with the law of the TSJ or the designation of the judges. This makes us think that the opposition is not participating in the designation (of the judges) either," she added.

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Venezuelan government gives aid to farmers hit by rains

02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.