Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday urged the country’s highest defense and public authorities to evaluate a "parliamentary coup” by opposition lawmakers trying to impeach him.
“In exercise of my powers, I convoke the National Defense Council and all public authorities to assess the parliamentary coup of the National Assembly”, Maduro said at a public event, according to local media.
He also invited the head of the National Assembly, Henry Ramos Allup, to participate in a meeting slated for Wednesday morning at the Miraflores presidential palace.
Opposition lawmakers moved Tuesday to begin a process to impeach the Maduro on account of his alleged responsibility in the “breakdown of the constitutional order”.
The coup accusation by Maduro follows one made by the parliament against the president, after a recall process to bring him down through a referendum was suspended.
Congress also voted to force Maduro to testify Nov. 1 in front of the full legislature, while thousands of government followers took to the streets to support the president.
The draft passed amid an agreement earlier this week to start a national dialogue in search of a solution to a massive economic crisis blamed on the Maduro.