Thousands of Venezuelans participated in street marches in support of the country’s Constituent Assembly on Friday, continuing mass demonstrations backing President Nicolas Maduro’s proposed nationwide effort.
On May 1, Maduro called for the creation of the Constituent Assembly with the goal of easing ongoing political tensions and supporting dialogue with the opposition by rewriting the country’s 1999 Constitution. It will be made up of 545 members, with 364 representing regions and another 181 representing various social sectors — workers, farmers, people with disabilities, students, retirees, the business sector, communes and communal councils.
It will also include eight representatives of Indigenous groups throughout the country.
“The presence of the Venezuelan people is felt with joy and enthusiasm,” United Socialist Party of Venezuela march organizer Dario Vivas said Friday.
“There is great participation accompanying this tremendous initiative that will give a resounding turn to what has been this situation of criminal violence that has been presented.”
The peaceful pro-government protesters held their largest march in Caracas, with smaller actions in several cities across the country. For several days, demonstrators have been accompanying Constituent Assembly candidates to National Electoral Council, CNE, offices to deliver signatures toward the completion of their applications.
Elections for the Constituent Assembly will take place on July 30, according to CNE head Tibisay Lucena.