The Venezuelan authorities do not plan to dissolve the National Assembly (parliament) controlled by the opposition any time soon, president of the Constitutent Assembly Diosdado Cabello said.
Cabello was commenting on Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido's claims that the authorities want to dissolve the country's parliament.
"The National Assembly has practically been eliminated and doesn't function. What's the point of dissolving it?" EFE news agency quoted Cabello as saying.
He added that he does not rule out organizing parliamentary elections "soon" but did not specify its format and possible date. "I will propose to set up a commission for assessing the most appropriate time for holding elections in accordance with the law, constitution and political situation in our country," Cabello said. "If the commission finds that the election should be held on January 1, it will be held on January 1. If they recommend to hold the election this year, it will be held this year," he is quoted as saying by TASS.
Cabello also condemned the Venezuelan opposition for "calls to sanction" Caracas and noted that such actions violate the constitution and will result in legal consequences.
On January 23 Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the country's acting president. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has described it as a coup attempt and announced severing diplomatic relations with the United States.
Guaido was recognized as interim president by the Lima Group countries (except for Mexico), as well as by Albania, Georgia, the United States, and the Organization of American States. Several EU countries came forward with support for the Venezuelan parliament and expressed hope for new elections to resolve the crisis. Maduro was supported by Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salavador, Syria and Turkey.