The Americas

Venezuela's congress opens political trial against Maduro

  • Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a political rally against the opposition-controlled congress, in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. After the government suspended a recall referendum seeking Maduro's removal last week, the congress began debating his "constitutional situation." Lawmakers vow to present evidence that Maduro is a dual Colombian citizen and therefore constitutionally ineligible to hold Venezuela's highest office. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)

    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a political rally against the opposition-controlled congress, in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. After the government suspended a recall referendum seeking Maduro's removal last week, the congress began debating his "constitutional situation." Lawmakers vow to present evidence that Maduro is a dual Colombian citizen and therefore constitutionally ineligible to hold Venezuela's highest office. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro show their support during a political rally against Congress in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. After the government suspended a recall referendum seeking President Nicolas Maduro's removal last week, the opposition-controlled congress began debating his "constitutional situation." Lawmakers vow to present evidence that Maduro is a dual Colombian citizen and therefore constitutionally ineligible to hold Venezuela's highest office. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)

    Supporters of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro show their support during a political rally against Congress in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. After the government suspended a recall referendum seeking President Nicolas Maduro's removal last week, the opposition-controlled congress began debating his "constitutional situation." Lawmakers vow to present evidence that Maduro is a dual Colombian citizen and therefore constitutionally ineligible to hold Venezuela's highest office. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)  (The Associated Press)

  • Congressional President Henry Ramos Allup waves to supporters, after a special session of Congress a in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. After the government suspended a recall referendum seeking the president's removal last week, the opposition-controlled congress began debating Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's "constitutional situation." Lawmakers vow to present evidence that he's a dual Colombian citizen and therefore constitutionally ineligible to hold Venezuela's highest office. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)

    Congressional President Henry Ramos Allup waves to supporters, after a special session of Congress a in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. After the government suspended a recall referendum seeking the president's removal last week, the opposition-controlled congress began debating Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's "constitutional situation." Lawmakers vow to present evidence that he's a dual Colombian citizen and therefore constitutionally ineligible to hold Venezuela's highest office. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)  (The Associated Press)

Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress has opened a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro for breaking the country's constitutional order.

The move was widely expected after lawmakers declared themselves in open rebellion following the suspension last week of a recall referendum seeking Maduro's removal. But it's unlikely to have any legal effect as the government-stacked Supreme Court has already invalidated all legislation emerging from the National Assembly.

In Tuesday's vote, lawmakers ordered Maduro to appear before congress next week to defend himself.