BRUSSELS – The Venezuelan government’s bid to seek to elect a constituent assembly has prompted concern in the European Union, whose external action group (EEAS) spokesperson expressed concern on Monday for the fate of democracy in the restive South American nation.
Some 10 people were killed in protests during the vote on Sunday and while President Nicolas Maduro celebrated the election of this assembly as a government victory, his opposition denounced it as a step closer to dictatorship and rejected the turnout figures as false.
“A Constituent Assembly, elected under doubtful and often violent circumstances cannot be part of the solution (to the current crisis). It has increased division and will further de-legitimize Venezuela’s democratically elected institutions,” the EEAS said in a statement.
The EU diplomatic service denounced the violence that has erupted across Venezuela’s streets on a daily basis for months and urged Maduro to respect the existing constitution and to uphold the rule of law and the right to peaceful protest.
“The fate of democracy in Venezuela is a legitimate concern to all countries in the region, and to Venezuela’s partners across the world,” the statement said, adding that the EU will continue to work with Venezuelans in need of assistance and to promote a political solution in the region.
Dozens have died in protests since political tensions in Venezuela, between Maduro and his opposition, who demand an election, boiled over into violent demonstrations.
Clashes between opposition protesters and security forces loyal to the president occur on a daily basis.