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  • Members of the Communal Parliament

    Members of the Communal Parliament | Photo: VTV

Published 4 January 2016

The Communal Parliament runs parallel to the National Assembly as a form of self-government and devolution of power from government to local communities.

Venezuela’s Communal Parliament met on Monday ahead of the swearing in of a new right-wing-majority in the National Assembly on Tuesday. The meeting with the Ministry of Communes and various social movements is discussing how to confront the threats that the new government might pose.

RELATED: Venezuela's Communal Councils: Direct Democracy Explained

The Communal Parliament has been running since Dec. 15, 2015, and will continue to drive the mechanisms that have allowed local groups to take control of their own resources and certain laws. Legislation for such a communal body was passed in 2010.

The right-wing Democratic Unity Roundtable, or MUD coalition, whose lawmakers will flood the National Assembly Tuesday, has already announced it plans to oust the socialist President Nicolas Maduro via a recall vote, privatize certain utilities and attack the media law in the country that has been undergoing a popular revolution since 1999 with the presidency of Hugo Chavez.

Through Chavez’s so-called Bolivarian Revolution, Venezuelans have been empowered to defend the gains they have experienced, such as universal healthcare and education. The government maintained social spending despite a tough economic outlook, which has included plummeting oil prices along with the shortages created by the speculating and smuggling of state-subsidized goods.

The opposition won a majority in the National Assembly in Dec. 6 elections.

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