The Constituent Assembly was inaugurated Friday, Aug. 4 and will hold meetings in the Federal Legislative Palace, right next to opposition-controlled National Assembly.
Opposition lawmakers have said that the Constituent Assembly, ANC, is unconstitutional and all decisions it makes will have no legal value.
Last Monday, the opposition approved an agreement “not to recognize acts that contradict the constitutional order.”
The agreement refused to recognize the ANC and claimed its first actions confirmed it was working on behalf of the “dictatorship.”
Opposition members and representatives recently argued that the ANC seeks to dissolve the National Assembly in clear violation of the Venezuelan Constitution.
But can the ANC act against the National Assembly?
In an interview with teleSUR, political researcher Walter Ortiz said that the National Assembly and ANC can coexist from a political, judicial and constitutional basis.
Indeed since the ANC was inaugurated, Venezuela’s Parliament has continued to function normally.
The coexistence of both assemblies is guaranteed by the agreement approved in the ANC session on Tuesday. The agreement outlines how the ANC will work in harmony with constituted public authorities in order contribute to peace, public calm, equality and integrity of all Venezuelans.
The document indicates that in order to preserve peace, calm and sovereignty it will be necessary to “assure the harmonic, constitutional and efficient institutionality of all branches of Public Powers in order to meet the objective to help the state resolving past, current and future difficulties, reducing the threats and risks that have directly and severely affected its mandate.”
Ortiz said that Article 349 of the Constitution establishes that “Constituted power cannot in any way impede the decision of the Constituent Assembly,” meaning failing to recognize any act from the ANC is unconstitutional.
The historian and former ANC candidate Juan Romero told teleSUR in a phone conversation that the statute restricts the power of the National Assembly but does not imply its dissolution.
According to Romero, the rule approved by the ANC is inspired by the rule proposed in the Constituent Assembly in 1999 which indicated that the National Assembly will perform the same role as always, as long as it does not affect the decisions from the ANC.
Romero explained that the National Assembly will continue functioning at the level of work reunions and commissions but will not be able to make laws on the economy, policy or security given that this would interfere with the work of the ANC.
Romero described opposition claims that the ANC will dissolve the National Assembly as false news which seeks to delegitimize the constitutionality of the Venezuelan state.
For Ortiz, the opposition is using the allegation to rally international support given that internal destabilization strategies have not worked.