Already reeling from massive antigovernment marches in recent weeks, Venezuela is bracing for more demonstrations Wednesday as increasingly vocal activists protest the surprise plan by President Nicolas Maduro to draft a new constitution. Opposition leaders condemned the proposal as an antidemocratic move that will only aggravate the country’s ongoing political crisis. In an announcement at a May Day rally Monday, Maduro said he would seek to replace the constitution pushed through in 2000 by his late predecessor, Hugo Chavez. The new document would be drafted at an assembly consisting of 500 delegates, 250 of whom will be selected from “communal” groups recognized by Maduro’s government, which will likely assure his control over the final version, opponents said.
Maduro critics expressed their outrage at the plan at a time when his government has curtailed the powers of the opposition-controlled National Assembly and indefinitely postponed elections of governors and mayors.
Henrique Capriles, an opposition leader and governor of Miranda state, said at a news conference Tuesday that the Maduro plan was a “constitutional fraud” and a “mechanism to do away once and for all with the National Assembly.” He called on supporters to go to the streets Wednesday to voice their opposition to the plan.
Full Article: As president calls for new constitution, Venezuela veers once again toward political chaos – LA Times.