Venezuela to begin drafting new Constitution

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Caracas, Aug 25 (IANS) Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) will begin draft a new Constitution starting next week, ANC President Delcy Rodriguez announced.

“As of next week, we constituents…will be writing the chapters of the new constitution for the programme goals we were called for,” Rodriguez said on Thursday.

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, reports Xinhua news agency.

The initiative was proposed by President Nicolas Maduro in April in a bid to break the protracted political deadlock between the ruling progressive party (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.

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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 programmess in the constitution, and bolstering the judicial system.

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

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.

–IANS

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