Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly to Begin Drafting New Constitution

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Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) will begin to draft a new Constitution starting next week, ANC’s President Delcy Rodriguez said Thursday.

“As of next week, we constituents…Will be writing the chapters of the new constitution for the program goals we were called for,” said Rodriguez.

The ANC’s 545 members, representing a cross-section of society, were elected in July 30 elections for the task of amending the 1990 Constitution, Xinhua news agency reported.

The initiative was proposed by President Nicolas Maduro in May in a bid to break the protracted political deadlock between the ruling progressive parties (PSUV) and the coalition of conservative groups (MUD).

The MUD boycotted the elections, and has condemned the ANC for usurping the legislative powers of the country’s opposition-led National Assembly.

Among the ANC’s objectives are: promoting peace amid political tensions that have fueled violent anti-government protests, diversifying the oil-reliant economy, enshrining social programs in the constitution, and bolstering the judicial system, said Rodriguez.

In addition, constituents will also include environmental protection articles “to preserve life on the planet.”

The ANC members, representing regions or different sectors of the civil society, such as teachers, workers and students, must now consult with their constituents, said Rodriguez.

According to the body’s guidelines, “after concluding deliberations on the constitutional project, the ANC will approve the constitutional text and fix a date for a referendum to approve the new document.”

If approved in the referendum, the document would then be enacted by the president.

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