Caracas: The Venezuelan Parliament -- controlled by the opposition -- on Tuesday said the "state of exception and economic emergency" declared by President Nicolas Maduro last week to deal with the alleged threat of a coup is "unconstitutional."
"It is a decree that does not adhere to the constitution and, the saddest thing is that it fails to recognise the pain of the Venezuelan family," EFE news quoted leader of the opposition lawmakers Julio Borges as saying.
The decree, published on Monday in the Official Gazette, allows the president to "dictate measures and execute special public security plans that guarantee the maintenance of public order against destabilising actions".
Borges said the decree is not intended to handle the insecurity, shortages and other problems affecting the country and will actually make those things worse.
He said "the only thing that interests" Maduro is "perpetuating himself in power", but he warned "the Venezuelan people are going to recall him via the vote".
National Assembly chief Henry Ramos Allup said "this government is in a very compromised situation, very fragile and very unstable, and it needs ... a crazy idea like this one ... to try and fake that it has the strength to keep itself in power".
He said Maduro "is in a desperate situation" and setting aside the Constitution "by decree ... is a less-than-legal" act.