On August 5, 2008, the Venezuelan Supreme Court upheld a list blocking 272 political candidates from running for office because of suspected corruption. Opponents alleged that many of the names on the list were opponents of President Hugo Chavez. His opposition had previously accused Chavez of pushing increasingly autocratic reforms, including constitutional changes that would have eliminated presidential term limits and augmented the president's emergency powers. On September 18, the Venezuelan government ordered two senior officials to leave the country, following a report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) accusing Chavez's administration of discrimination on political grounds.
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