Venezuela opposition: government move to block 4 lawmakers from seats is 'judicial coup'

Venezuela's opposition is calling a Supreme Court decision that bars four recently-elected lawmakers from taking their seats in the National Assembly a "judicial coup" and has vowed to respect the voters' will when a new session starts next week.

Without explaining why, the high court released a decision late Wednesday suspending the inauguration of four of the lawmakers declared winners after the opposition swept Dec. 6 legislative elections. Three are anti-government and one is a member of the ruling socialist party.

The ruling could undermine the opposition's newly won two-thirds legislative "super-majority" and limit its power.

Opposition leaders are pledging that the barred lawmakers will attend the first session of the new congress on Jan. 5.

The ruling has not provoked popular unrest in the middle of weeks-long winter vacations.