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  • Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans voted for the National Constituent Assembly on July 30, 2017.

    Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans voted for the National Constituent Assembly on July 30, 2017. | Photo: AVN

After over eight million Venezuelans voted for their delegates to the ANC, teleSUR looks at the next steps in the process.

After Sunday's vote for the National Constituent Assembly, Venezuela enters a new legislative and election period.

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Over eight million people voted in Venezuela's election Sunday — a turnout of over 41 percent, according to electoral authorities — to choose from 6,120 candidates for the 545-member ANC.

Public servants, including governors, mayors, and lawmakers, could not run as candidates unless they resigned from their positions. Candidates did not represent their political parties but competed on an individual basis to become a delegate for the ANC.

"It is the only way to summon the full sovereignty of the people and lay the foundations of the recovery of peace in the Republic," President Nicolas Maduro said on May 1.

"This is a Constituent Assembly to bring order, do justice and defend the peace," Maduro said Monday.


After the vote

Some 364 members will be chosen through a territorial vote, one member for each of Venezuela's municipality, two for each one that is a state capital, and seven for Libertador municipality of central Caracas.

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Eight will be elected from the vote being conducted by Indigenous communities on Aug. 1, according to their customs and traditions, while the remaining 173 will be divided into different sectors.

Eight will be from campesinos and fishermen, five for business people, five for those with a disability, 24 for students, 28 for pensioners, 24 for Communal Councils, and 79 for workers in public administration, services, social areas, commerce, self-employed, industry, construction, transportation, and the oil industry.

The National Electoral Council, with local and international observers and auditors, will be in charge of counting all the votes before announcing who will sit on the ANC.


The Constituent Assembly's work

By Aug. 3 the elected members of the ANC will be sworn in as the new legislative body.

It will be installed within 72 hours after the announcement of the elected constituents and will work from the Federal Legislative Palace in Caracas, according to the decree that convened it.

This group of various origins and interests will discuss and drafts a new national constitution based on the proposals by different sectors of society.

This will be the second Constituent Assembly to be elected in Venezuela since 1999 when the current constitutional text was drafted in another popular participation vote.

In the current Bolivarian Constitution, there is no defined timeline on how long it would take the members of the newly elected body to complete the popular mandate, but it would be a temporary parliament.

The constituents will have at least three months to draft the new text and are expected to focus their work on justice and economic issues.


Venezuelans must approve new constitution

Article 349 of the country's constitution says no other state power can "in any way impede the decisions of the National Constituent Assembly" and that the President of the Republic can not object to the new Constitution.

The final text of the new Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will go to an open and free referendum where all citizens will decide whether to approve it.

Depending on what the constituents include in the final text, the country could face general elections for President of the Republic, mayors, governors and other publicly elected officials.

The referendum is scheduled to be held on December 19, while the elections for governors in the country is scheduled for December 10.


Possible outcomes

Popular sectors hope to win a majority in the assembly along with the government in order to strengthen the economic and judicial system and protect the social missions initiated by the Bolivarian Revolution to provide free or low-cost health care, education and food.

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According to the government, new forms of participatory democracy will be developed, as well as support for sovereignty, cultural programs, social rights and environmental programs.

Some factions of the opposition have decided not to participate in the democratic and open process, while other sectors have said they will participate.

According to analysts, even if the opposition were to win the majority in this assembly, they wouldn't be able to change the fundamental constitutional model of the country created in 1999.

They will still need to work on the basis of the fundamental rights given to the people in the current constitution.

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