Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Venezuela's Indigenous Vote for Constituent Assembly

The nomination and election of Indigenous candidates will be carried out through general community assemblies.

This Tuesday, 1,250 community assemblies will convene to elect Indigenous representatives to Venezuela's Constituent Assembly. The popular assemblies will be carried out in the municipalities of Angostura, Sucre, Cedeño, Heres, Caroni, Sifontes and Gran Sabana.

The three members who will represent the Indigenous populace for the eastern region of Venezuela in the Constituent Assembly will be chosen by the Indigenous peoples in the state of Bolivar, said Yaritza Aray, Indigenous deputy to the Legislative Council of Bolivar.

Aray explained that the Indigenous peoples have the right to elect eight representatives in the assembly, territorially chosen according to the presence of these communities in the different regions of the country. For the Eastern Region, three constituent Indigenous representatives will be chosen to represent the states of Anzoategui, Apure, Bolivar, Monagas and Delta Amacuro.

These representatives will join the four chosen by the western region states of Zulia, Merida and Trujillo as well as one from the southern region states of Apure and Amazonas.

The main objectives of the Indigenous candidates will be to create an Indigenous Electoral Registration Law and improve the education given to their children. They will also be tasked with preserving and disseminating their respective languages, histories and cultural heritage.

The National Electoral Council established that the nomination and election of Indigenous candidates will be carried out through general community assemblies, according to their traditions and customs.

On Sunday, elections were held to elect representatives to the Constituent Assembly. Over 8 million citizens participated, according to official estimates.

The assembly is tasked with re-drafting the Venezuelan Constitution and was convened by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as a means to extend the social rights established by the current Constitution.

The Constituent Assembly is meant to lead the nation toward dialogue, strengthening the fight against U.S.-backed opposition violence and foreign interventionism while overcoming oil dependency and improving the economy.

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