Published On: Thu, Dec 29th, 2016

OAS urges Venezuela government to respect rules of the National Assembly

VenezuelaWASHINGTON - The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Tuesday urged the Venezuelan government, particularly the executive branch, to respect the National Assembly’s internal regulations to elect its board of directors, which is to take office on January 5, 2017.

The OAS General Secretariat defined as “unacceptable and outrageous” the continuous violation of the independence and balance of power through speeches and announcements by representatives of both the executive branch and the governing PSUV party saying they will not recognize the National Assembly's future officials.

“This generates political and social uncertainty, reinforcing the vicious circle of democratic crisis, institutional rupture, shortages, hunger, insecurity, lack of rights and poverty.

“No system of government in which the separation of powers is consecrated can admit – under any circumstances – actions by the executive or the judiciary aimed at paralyzing indefinitely the works of the legislature, where the nation’s political and sovereign representation lie.

“In Venezuela’s case, admitting to the contrary would carry the diagnosis beyond the current scenario of alteration of the constitutional order and institutional rupture to finalize a coup d’état through the de facto dissolution (through indefinite paralysis) of one of the state’s powers.

“Any intervention in this regard would represent the disappearance of the popular sovereignty attributed to the National Assembly. This would merit the strongest condemnation from the international community,” the OAS said in a press statement.

The board of directors of the National Assembly, according to its internal regulations, is composed of a chair, a first vice chair, and a second vice chair, as well as a secretary and a deputy secretary.

It is mandatory that, at the beginning of every constitutional term, as well as at the beginning of every annual regular session period, the Assembly must elect its board of directors, which shall be elected by all members of parliament present at the moment of voting.

‪The correct election and working of the board of directors is essential for the appropriate functioning of the legislative power. As clearly stated in the regulations, the election of the board of directors is an internal procedure within the Assembly, one that is appropriately regulated and does not admit interferences from the state’s other entities or powers.

“Any interference on the election of the National Assembly's officials by the executive or the judicial powers would imply absolutely ignoring the essential principles of democracy, separation and independence of powers. Furthermore, such actions would sideline the legitimacy given by the people of Venezuela to the National Assembly, which would consecrate one more step towards the consolidation of an authoritarian regime.

“To the contrary, what the people of Venezuela need are solutions to overcome an already shocking humanitarian crisis, due to shortages of food, medicines and other basic needs,” the OAS continued.

For these reasons, the OAS General Secretariat said it urged scrupulous respect for the internal mechanisms of the National Assembly, thereby putting an end to the unfortunate ongoing institutional and social decline.

At the same time, the OAS General Secretariat reiterated its call to all parties in the ongoing dialogue, as well as those facilitating it, to find real, specific and urgent solutions, putting first the rights and interests of the people of Venezuela, whose daily suffering should be the first concern to all political officials because, as stated by former President Hugo Chávez at his final campaign event on August 18, 2012, in San Felix, Bolivar, “The people’s voice is God’s voice.”

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