- Title: Venezuela's Maduro affirms new legislative body as all powerful
- Date: 11th August 2017
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (AUGUST 10, 2017) (REUTERS) MILITARY OFFICIALS LISTENING TO MADURO SPEECH MADURO SPEAKING AT PODIUM (NOT A SOUNDBITE)
- Embargoed: 25th August 2017 02:13
- Keywords: Nicolas Maduro Constituent Assembly Delcy Rodriguez
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0046TPODON
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recognized the Socialist Party-dominated constituent assembly as the country's most powerful institution on Thursday (August 10) in his first appearance at the highly criticized legislative body that was inaugurated six days ago.
He also called for a summit of heads of state of the ALBA trade bloc to respond to recent criticism from the Organization of American States.
The recent election of the 545-member assembly drew international condemnation for usurping the authority of Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress. Critics have said the election cast aside any remaining checks on Maduro's power.
Maduro has said the assembly is the country's only chance at securing peace and prosperity after four months of unrest and anti-government protests that have left more than 120 people dead.
In an address that repeatedly brought assembly members to their feet in applause, Maduro called for a new governance framework for Venezuela, aimed at "perfecting the constitution of 1999."
The opposition boycotted the July 30 election of the assembly and called for an early presidential vote that it was sure Maduro would lose for having presided over a severe economic recession that has been accompanied by shortages of food and medicine.
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