Venezuela Socialists set up grass routes assembly

Venezuela Socialists set up grass routes assembly, in aftermath of opposition victory in parliamentary elections

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

People walk past the National Assembly building during a session in Caracas December 10, 2015.

Venezuela's ruling Socialists inaugurated a grassroots assembly on Tuesday, in a move considered as a backlash to the opposition following their victory in the parliamentary elections last week.

The Venezuelan opposition won the parliamentary elections earlier this month, ending the ruling Socialist Party majority in the legislature after 16 years.

On Tuesday, the government set up a new National Communal Parliament that aims at strengthening the role of grassroots decision-making structures.

While announcing the creation of the new communal body, National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello said “It's a stumble from which we must get up stronger to keep promoting the Bolivarian Revolution!"

"The most important power is the power of the communes. There is no purer form of organization," he added.

Country’s election board announced the opposition Democratic Unity coalition won supermajority with 112 of 167 seats in the National Assembly while the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) of President Nicolas Maduro won 55 seats.

Following the defeat, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro vowed to prevent any move by the opposition members to grant amnesty to the participants of the mass civil unrest of 2014.

The new legislature will start to work on Jan. 5 and with the unprecedented opposition victory, the coalition now has the strength needed to draft a new constitution to end Maduro’s tenure and to remove Supreme Court justices.

Their first priority is to secure the release of jailed politicians such as opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez who was sentenced to 13 years in prison in September for provoking anti-government 2014 protests in the country that claimed 43 lives.

Opponents of the Venezuelan government claim that the new establishment is a parallel body to the National Assembly, founded as a retaliation in the aftermath of Maduro’s defeat to undermine the power of opposition.

On the other hand, Socialists say communes had been major priority for the late president Hugo Chavez and say this concept predates the election results.

TRTWorld and agencies