Maduro to Evaluate Proposal to Reduce Venezuelan Congress's Term

  • Constitutional amendment eyed to cut assembly term to 60 days
  • Opposition-controlled assembly seeking Maduro's ouster

President Nicolas Maduro said he will evaluate a proposal to reduce the term of Venezuela’s National Assembly to 60 days with a constitutional amendment.

Constitutional scholar Hernan Escarra said Maduro could draft an amendment with a single article to be approved by his council of ministers to shorten the term of the opposition-controlled parliament, which is seeking to oust the president by referendum or its own amendment.

“President Maduro in the council of ministers can also approve an amendment without going through the National Assembly,” Escarra said on state television from outside the presidential palace in Caracas, provoking Maduro to stand up from his chair and applaud.

Maduro, speaking later, said he would seriously evaluate the proposal.

“If I see that this can clear the path of coup-mongering and the use of the National Assembly, I will personally activate it if the people accompany me,” Maduro said in front of government supporters gathered to protest the assembly-approved amnesty law meant to free jailed politicians and activists.

Maduro sent the amnesty bill to the country’s Supreme Court for the justices to decide whether it complies with the constitution. Previously, the high court has backed Maduro against lawmakers by rejecting a reform of the central bank law, blocking lawmakers’ attempt to review justices named by the outgoing lame duck Congress and by upholding the president’s economic emergency decrees.

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