Venezuelans hold anti-corruption demos

Supporters, opponents of Venezuelan govt. hold demos in Caracas

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (C) waves to supporters next to Venezuelan First Lady Cilia Flores (C-L) during a demonstration in Caracas on August 3, 2013.

Supporters and opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have held separate rallies in the capital Caracas to denounce corruption in the country.

Thousands of people led by President Maduro took to the streets on Saturday to voice their support for the government’s recent anti-corruption drive.

A bloc of 98 lawmakers in the National Assembly voted on Tuesday to strip lawmaker Richard Mardo of his legal immunity, so that judicial authorities can investigate him for alleged corruption.

The opposition MP is suspected of receiving private donations in 2009, which he allegedly never disclosed. But Mardo denies any wrongdoing.

In a different part of the city, thousands of opposition supporters protested the decision by holding a marched led by opposition leader Henrique Capriles.

Capriles repeated opposition allegations accusing the leftist government of being behind corruption in Venezuela. They also accuse the country’s judiciary of acting in coordination with the government against opponents.

“It’s the first time in the history of Venezuela and in the world that a march is convened to support corruption and to support a convicted and confessed corrupt person that is lawmaker Richard Mardo,” Maduro told his supporters, referring to the opposition rally.

The president, who has pledged to eliminate corruption at every level, launched the anti-corruption drive just days after marking his first 100 days in office.

The president has also stepped up such efforts within the ruling United Socialist Party. Three senior officials in the party have so far been punished for fraud.

MRS/AS

Republished from: Press TV