CARACAS – National Electoral Council (CNE) chief Tibisay Lucena said on Sunday that the body would propose holding the election for Venezuela’s constituent assembly on July 30.
The “definitive date,” she said, is being proposed by the National Election Board and will be discussed in the coming hours by the five members of the CNE, four of whom are supporters of the Nicolas Maduro government, which is pushing for the constituent assembly to rewrite the national charter.
On July 30, according to the board’s proposal, the 545 members of the constituent assembly will be elected.
Lucena emphasized that 55,314 people have registered on the CNE Web site with an eye toward being candidates in the election,
The selection of 181 of the representatives by social and political sectors has been criticized by the opposition MUD coalition and by election official Luis Emilio Rondon, but the government’s plan is to draw assembly members from the peasantry (8), fishermen (8), workers (79), students (24), the disabled (5), retirees (28), businessmen (5) and commune council members (24).
The CNE president said that women comprise 62 percent of the people aspiring to serve on the assembly from the seven sectors, while men make up the same percentage in the other grouping of assembly members, namely those selected by geographic location.
Maduro’s proposal, approved by the CNE, is for all the country’s municipalities to elect one representative, except for the state capitals, which will have two each, and the Caracas municipality of Libertador, which will elect seven.
The MUD has said it will not participate in this process, which it has called fraudulent and it has called on its supporters to continue taking to the streets in the large anti-government demonstrations that have been under way since April 1 and which have left 65 people dead, more than 1,000 injured and 422 under arrest.
Meanwhile, the Public Ministry on Sunday reported the death of 22-year-old Orlando Figuera, who suffered multiple stab wounds and burns over 80 percent of his body when he was set upon by several demonstrators on May 20 at a protest in the Altamira section of the capital.