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Why Venezuela May Change Its Constitution for the 27th Time

Bloomberg business news

Why Venezuela's Many Crises Keep Getting Worse


Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, drew widespread criticism at home and abroad when he announced he will convoke a constituent assembly to consider changing the country’s constitution -- which has already happened 26 times in the nation’s 205-year history. Though Maduro hasn’t provided too many specific details about what he wants to see in a new constitution, the opposition quickly slammed the move as an illegal power grab and predicted that the government would stack the assembly with its supporters. All this is taking place as the country is embroiled in a political and economic crisis. At least 35 people have died in anti-government protests over the past month.

It’s a constitutional convention called by the president and made up of elected and/or appointed delegates. It has the power not only to revise the constitution but to write a new one, or to disband or replace branches of the government. The last such assembly was called in 1999, when former President Hugo Chavez oversaw the crafting of the current constitution, replacing one written in 1961.