The office of OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro released a statement with comments from the European Council Venice Commission on the legality of the Venezuelan presidency decree which was used to convene elections for a constituent assembly to modify the country´s main law.
The request to the Venice Commission was presented 26 June 2017 and on 21 July the preliminary opinion on the matter was issued with the following comments from Almagro.
Today I received the preliminary opinion from the diverse group made up of recognized independent experts in constitutional law and electoral issues from Spain, the Czech Republic, Finland, Peru and Mexico.
Following an exhaustive legal analysis, the Venice Commission arrived at the following conclusions:
Only the Venezuelan people have the power to convene elections for the National Constituent Assembly through referenda. That is to say, the Executive branch does not have this power.
It also concluded that the regulation of a Constituent Assembly lies exclusively within the power of the National Assembly.
Moreover, it indicated that the voting basis to determine representation by territory and sector representation violate democratic principles.
Finally, it mentions that the deficiencies of this procedure and of the voting basis weaken the credibility of the process.
Almagro argues that every day there are more voices in the international community calling for a return of democracy to Venezuela and this will only happen when the people can express themselves through free, universal, clean general elections with international observers.
That is the only way to leave behind the current political, socio-economic and humanitarian crisis that is sweeping the country”.