CARACAS – Venezuela’s MUD opposition alliance said on Tuesday that it does not recognize the administration of President Nicolas Maduro as legitimate, calling for “permanent protest” against the leftist head of state and his plan to convene a constitutional convention.
Maduro’s government “has put itself outside the constitution and as a consequence, its authority and decisions are unconstitutional and cannot be recognized or obeyed by anyone,” National Assembly speaker Julio Borges said, reading from a prepared statement.
Authorities have set a date of July 30 for election of delegates to the proposed Constituent Assembly, which is intended to overhaul Venezuela’s 1998 constitution.
“It is indispensable to pass to a new phase of popular struggle” against Maduro’s leftist government, Borges said.
On behalf of MUD, the lawmaker called for the holding of new general elections.
Borges urged Venezuelans to “organize the great permanent protest that will take place across the entire national territory at the same time until we achieve the restoration of the constitutional order.”
Since April 1, mobilizations against and in favor of the Maduro government have given rise to violence that has claimed 75 lives and left more than 1,000 people injured, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
Both supporters and opponents of the government have been killed, as well as members of the security forces and bystanders.
The AG Office blames the security forces for a portion of those deaths and has brought charges against police and military officers.