Venezuelan Attorney General asks Supreme Court to stop Maduro’s Constituent Assembly

Once again, the Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called into question actions undertaken by the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela and filed a document before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice against the Constituent Assembly of Nicolás Maduro.

In a press conference offered from the same seat of the Judiciary, Ortega pointed out that within the Constituent Assembly that Maduro plans to call to write a new Constitution “popular participation has been reduced to a minimum.” 

The prosecutor criticized the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) in which it endorsed the call for rewriting the constitution, and in which they ruled that a prior consultative referendum is not necessary. Ortega denounced that the Constituent Assembly “violates the progression of human rights” and “is a setback.” 

Ortega said that the call to amend the Constitution, should include levels of popular participation greater than or equal to those seen the last time the South American nation rewrote its Constitution, in 1999. “We want the justices to clarify if the power exercised in representation of the people, is above the people itself,” she said, questioning whether the Executive and Judiciary were “afraid of popular sovereignty; why are we not talking about democracy?” 

She also recalled that sovereignty must reside in the people, and not in any public power of the state. “We have asked for clarification on the part of the Supreme Court, as to whether participatory democracy has lost force, because…it seems that participatory democracy is being eliminated”; she pointed out. 

Ortega has previously publicly questioned acts of the Maduro regime. Earlier this year she called into question another decision by the Supreme Court which usurped the functions of the National Assembly, the only branch of government which is controlled by the opposition.