The people are the origin and protagonist of Constituent Power


Caracas, 04 May. AVN.- The call for a new National Constituent Assembly, made this week by President Nicolas Maduro, opens the way for Venezuelans to review, discuss and define the bases of the Venezuelan state in economic, political and social terms.

This debate rests upon the concept of the constituent power, that is empowered to give origin and form to the republic to which the citizens aspire. In Venezuela, this power rests on the people, who in 1999 was the architect of the current constitution, which enshrines principles such as participatory and protagonist democracy.

That scenario was opened when the then Supreme Court of Justice, on January 19, 1999, decided it was possible to consult the Venezuelan people, as the Original Power, if they agreed with the call to elect a National Constituent Assembly to prepare a new constitution according to the new times the Republic would have to live through, a proposal made by commander Hugo Chavez in the electoral campaign of 1998.

In the decision of the court, it was established that through the consultative referendum "the opinion of the electoral body may be consulted regarding any decision that is of special national transcendence other than those specifically excluded by the Organic Law of Suffrage and Political Participation itself in its Article 185, including that which is related to the convocation of a Constituent Assembly," said the 1961 Constitution at that time.

Three months later, on April 25, the Venezuelan people were consulted, via referendum, whether or not to convene a National Constituent Assembly "with the purpose of transforming the State and creating a new legal system that allows the functioning of a social and participative democracy." The 'Yes' option won with 3,360,666 votes (87.75 %) and the path of the Constituent Power continued to open with the push of growing participation of Venezuelans determined to play a leading role and build their own history.

The result of this debate shaped the current constitution, which enshrines the recognition of the original power in article 347: "The people of Venezuela are the depository of the original constituent power. In exercising that power, it may convene a National Constituent Assembly with the purpose of transforming the State, creating a new legal system and drafting a new Constitution."

The Constituent Assembly, in accordance with article 348 of the Constitution, may be convened by the President of the Republic, in Council of Ministers; the National Assembly, by agreement of two-thirds of its members; the Municipal Councils in cabildo, by the vote of two thirds of them; or fifteen percent of the voters registered on the electoral roll.

04/05/2017 - 05:48 pm