On August 18, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) will continue working until December 2020. Although its main task is to draft a new constitution, little is known about any progress so far. ANC president Diosdado Cabello is expected to give more details about the institution’s work in the coming days.
The ANC was set up in August 2017 to draft a new Constitution over a two-year period. Leg. Herman Escarrá (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela – ruling party) said in late July that the ANC is preparing a draft constitutional reform, to include new mechanisms for political participation and human rights guarantees. However, over the years the ANC has mainly limited itself to the exercise of the legislative powers of the National Assembly (NA), which was declared “in contempt” by the Judiciary in 2016.
The dismantling of the ANC is due to take place at around the time of the legislative elections on December 6 to renew the NA. The opposition has called into question the legitimacy of the elections and decided not to participate. Various international bodies, such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the European Union, have also cast doubt on the transparency of the electoral process.