Venezuela’s PSUV-stacked Constituent Assembly seized legislative powers


nsnbc : Venezuela’s new, highly contested National Constituent Assembly, on Friday, formally declared it was seizing power from the legislature where the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition holds an absolute majority. The MUD coalition challenges the latest power grab and called for a session at the National Assembly on Saturday.

Nicolas Maduro_Venezuela_Aug 2017The Constituent Assembly (NCA), elected in an election boycotted by the MUD and stacked with PSUV and Maduro supporters, unanimously adopted a decree authorizing it to “take over the functions to legislate on matters directly concerned with ensuring peace, security, sovereignty, the socio-economic and financial systems, state assets, and upholding Venezuelan’s rights”.

The Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition, holding an absolute majority in the National Assembly, rejected the “decree” and branded it as a “coup d’état.” “The National Assembly, the international community and the people will not respect the decision to annul” the legislature’s powers, the body said on its official Twitter account. “The NCA is null and its acts are illegal and unconstitutional.”

The centre-right opposition says the new constituent assembly is a ploy by Maduro to tighten his grip on power. It was ostensibly set up to rewrite the constitution but has been handed sweeping powers to override all other branches of government.

“All the organs of public power are subordinate to the National Constituent Assembly,” said the decree, read out at Friday’s session. The body’s 545 members, all Maduro allies, were elected on July 30 in polls boycotted by the MUD, denounced as constitutional coup by a cohort of civil society organizations, and marred by violence and allegations of voter fraud.

The assembly – led by Maduro’s fiercely loyal former foreign minister, Delcy Rodriguez – also includes his wife and son. “We will not permit any more diverting of power” by the opposition, Rodriguez said Friday before the decree was read out. “The constituent assembly is here to impose order.”

International powers including the USA, the European Union and Spain, among many others, have accused Maduro of acting undemocratically. Several Latin American countries have said they will not recognize the Constituent Assembly or its decisions.

Maduro was elected in 2013 but is facing increased opposition, also from within the ranks of his own socialist party (PSUV), and from other leftist parties that previously supported the PSUV. Former PSUV and Maduro supporters, including ousted Attorney General Luisa Ortega who fled to Colombia, accuse Maduro and the PSUV of staging a constitutional coup.

The legislature (National Assembly), controlled by the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition since late 2015, was the last state institution still not held by Maduro’s allies. The Constituent Assembly was set up for a period of two years, meaning it would retain its powers beyond the end of Maduro’s elected term in office, which ends in 2019.

One of Maduro’s fiercest international critics, the leader of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro, called for a special meeting of the body in response to the latest moves. He denounced what he called the “fraudulent dissolution” of the legislature. The MUD leaders in the National Assembly called a session for Saturday morning.

CH/L – nsnbc 19.08.2017



Source Article from https://nsnbc.me/2017/08/19/venezuelas-psuv-stacked-constituent-assembly-seized-legislative-powers/

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