CARACAS – The Venezuelan ruling party proposed on Tuesday the election of a new National Assembly legislature next April 22, on the same day as the presidential election already announced for that date.
“I announce this as a proposal that I will take to the relevant authorities, that the day of the presidential election should also be the day for electing the new National Assembly to fill the current vacancy,” said Chavismo leader Diosdado Cabello on state channel VTV.
The National Assembly is the only power in Venezuela in the hands of the opposition, which took two-thirds of the seats in 2015. However, the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) has declared the legislature in contempt of legally constituted authority, for which reason its acts are considered null and void.
“Calling these elections is a call to exercise the right to vote, to participate, to reunite... to fill a vacancy, because today there is no National Assembly, no deliberative body here that is so needed,” the first vice president of the ruling PSUV party said.
Cabello believes that two months are sufficient to organize these elections “without any kind of inconvenience,” and will therefore present his proposal this week to the plenipotentiary National Constituent Assembly (ANC), made up solely of Chavistas and of which he is a member.
The Chavista leader said that bringing the legislative elections forward, normally scheduled for late 2020, “would also be a revitalizing element in Venezuelan politics,” which should not “seem strange” to any country.
“Let the new period begin with a brand new National Assembly and a president just starting his term in office... to work together for this country, look after the people and pass the necessary laws,” Cabello said.
The MUD opposition coalition has not yet announced its decision to take part or not in the presidential election, but is leaning toward not participating in this contest, which it considers an “electoral farce,” and in which the current head of state, Nicolas Maduro, will seek reelection.