- Title: Venezuela prosecutor lambastes constituent assembly push
- Date: 1st June 2017
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (FILE) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF VENEZUELAN SUPREME, WITH VENEZUELAN FLAG WAVING VENEZUELAN FLAG FLAPPING IN WIND
- Embargoed: 15th June 2017 21:33
- Keywords: National Assembly Maduro constituent assembly Caracas Luisa Ortega
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0016JG6PTZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Venezuela's attorney general criticised on Thursday (June 1) the move by President Nicolas Maduro to create a constituent assembly without popular participation, saying it was a "setback" for democracy. The comments as Venezuela's weeks or protests pick up greater steam after the death of a high profile judge in the chaos.
Luisa Ortega went to Venezuela's Supreme Court to request a "clarification" of a ruling issued by her Constitutional Chamber published on Wednesday (May 31), which endorsed the president's initiative to elect members to the National Constituent Assembly without calling a national referendum.
This mechanism also sets up the process to have the constituents chosen at the end of July, in a vote that will be made via municipalities, a framework criticised by the opposition as an indirect election.
Ortega said that reducing the participation of the population "to a minimum" represents a "setback" for human rights and therefore asked the head of the judiciary to review the sentence.
Ortega, who was widely viewed as a close ally of Maduro's socialist government, recently broke with Maduro when she and others viewed the constituent assemblies as a bid to override the parliament, now led by the opposition.
More recently Ortega also criticised the "strong repression" by state security forces against opposition protesters who have been on the streets for two months to protest against what they consider a "dictatorship."
At least 61 people have died during the violence.
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