What we do and don`t know about Venezuela`s new Assembly
Caracas: Venezuelan Constituent Assembly – whose legitimacy is questioned by the opposition and abroad – began work on Friday with broad powers and an indefinite term under President Nicolas Maduro.
What do we know – and do not know – the new body? The Constituent Assembly will resume until the room occupied by the Congress controlled by the opposition, the National Assembly.
One of its main members, former Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, told AFP that the two groups would operate in the same building. It remains to be seen, however.
The opposition has called for a protest in Caracas on Thursday before the “fraudulent” Constituent Assembly.
The Constituent Assembly has the power to dissolve the National Assembly if it deems it appropriate. Its main task is to rewrite the Constitution, which Maduro said, will solve the economic and political crisis.
According to the election authority, more than 40 percent of voters to 20 million people voted Sunday in an election that designates the Constituent Assembly of 545 members.
However, a British company that provides technology to vote, Smartmatic said that the figure inflated official participation – “adulterated” by at least one million voters.
The National Jury of Elections denies it, rejecting it as “unfounded opinion of the company.”
The United States, the European Union and a dozen Latin American countries said they did not recognize the new assembly. Washington has sanctioned Maduro directly by calling him a “dictator.”
Of the 545 members of the new Assembly, two-thirds were selected by district vote and the remainder to represent different social and industrial sectors.
All are loyal Maduro – including his wife and son – because the opposition boycotted the vote.
The opposition fears that the new body must be a caching entity that Maduro says automatically.
The President undertook to submit a future draft constitution to a referendum. Meanwhile, the Constituent Assembly has executive and legislative power overcoming any other institution. It is not known how long the Constituent Assembly will be in session. Its members will have to decide.
If it dissolves the National Assembly or gets rid of the Attorney General’s office, which was threatened, Maduro wants parliamentary immunity was raised opposition lawmakers, who said that it had incited violence during events.
He called for a “truth commission” to prosecute the “crimes” of the conservative opposition, but it is unclear whether the new set will continue in this way.
Advocate General Luisa Ortega was a thorn in the Maduro camp for four months. She was loyal to her predecessor Hugo Chavez, but Maduro said she violates the constitution and rule of law in Venezuela.
She said that the new body has no legitimacy, the dictatorial ambitions of the president.