Venezuela’s new Constituent Assembly declares itself superior to all other government bodies
August 11, 2017

The newly-established Constitutional Assembly of Venezuela announced itself superior to all other governmental institutions, including the opposition-controlled congress.

The Assembly approved a decree on 8 August 2017 that obliges other government bodies to recognize its wide-ranging powers and adhere to its decisions.

In addition, the order prohibits the opposition-held National Assembly and other government bodies from taking any action that would interfere with the constituent assembly's laws.

The decree was passed amidst fears that the all-powerful constituent assembly will undermine the legislature and judiciary.

On the other hand, foreign governments and international bodies have refused to recognize the pro-government body.  

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro stated that a new constitution would help resolve the nation's political standoff. However, the opposition leaders describe the situation as a power grab.

Political Crisis in Venezuela

In 2014, a series of protests, political demonstrations and civil insurrection began in Venezuela due to the country's high levels of urban violence, inflation and chronic shortages of basic goods.
• While protests occurred in January 2014, after the murder of actress and former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear, mass protesting began in February 2014 following the attempted rape of a student on a university campus in San Cristobal.
• By 2016, protests occurred following the controversy surrounding the 2015 Venezuelan parliamentary elections as well as the incidents surrounding the 2016 recall referendum.
• On 1 September 2016, the largest demonstration of the protests occurred, with over 1 million Venezuelans, gathered to demand a recall election against President Maduro.
• In July 2017, Venezuelans were summoned to the polls to vote for a new lawmaking body, known as the Constituent Assembly.
• The newly elected body rewrote the 1999 constitution, the cornerstone of former President Hugo Chavez's "Bolivarian Revolution," which extended presidential term limits and allowed for indefinite re-elections.