CARACAS – The Attorney General’s Office filed a motion in court on Thursday in an effort to annul the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) elected last weekend to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution.
On its Twitter account, the AG’s Office said that two prosecutors filed the motion one day before that body – which will have unlimited powers to draft a new Constitution and reform the state without any opposition – is due to be installed.
“The request of the prosecutors is based on the alleged commission of crimes during the electoral process,” the AG’s Office added in another tweet.
Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz announced on Wednesday the launching of an investigation into the alleged manipulation of the results of the July 30 vote for the constituent assembly members last Sunday, a move in which four top officials of the National Electoral Council are named.
According to the CNE, 8,089,320 people – 41.53 percent of Venezuela’s voters’ registry – participated in the vote on Sunday, a day marked by anti-government protests and the deaths of at least 10 people in the disturbances.
However, Antonio Mugica, the CEO of Smartmatic, the company that installed some 24,000 electronic voting machines in Venezuela, said on Wednesday that the official election figures overestimate the number of citizens who went to the polls by at least 1 million.
Ortega requested a new vote count by “national and international experts, but without the CNE officials” to determine the facts in the matter.
The AG also rejected the constituent assembly vote as a “dictatorial ambition” on the part of the government, stating that such a vote should have been “convened by the people” and not by President Nicolas Maduro.
Meanwhile, the US State Department said that it considers both the constituent assembly and the election whereby its members were selected to be “illegitimate” a day after one of the department’s officials avoided using that word to refer to last Sunday’s election.
“The United States considers the Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly the illegitimate product of a flawed process designed by the Maduro dictatorship to further its assault on democracy,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, noting that the election was implemented by President Nicolas Maduro without consultation with the public.
“The United States will not recognize the National Constituent Assembly,” she said.