Venezuela's top court upholds candidate blacklist

Venezuela's Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a list barring hundreds of candidates suspected of corruption from running in elections is constitutional, despite complaints that it singles out opponents of President Hugo Chavez. The list - released by the country's top anti-corruption official in February - prevents 272 mostly opposition-aligned politicians from running in November's state and municipal elections. Comptroller General Clodosbaldo Russian, a close Chavez ally, had argued that Venezuelan law gives him the right to impose restrictions on potential candidates suspected of corruption. But opposition leaders said the ban violated Venezuela's constitution, which upholds the political rights of all citizens unless they have been charged with a crime and sentenced by a court. None of those on the list have been formally sentenced.