This was a special election that Venezuela President Maduro insisted be held. On 1 May 2017 following a month of protests that resulted in at least 29 dead, President Maduro called for a Constitutional Assembly that would draft a new constitution that would replace the 1999 Venezuela Constitution of his predecessor, Hugo Chávez. He invoked Article 347, and stated that his call for a new constitution was necessary to counter the actions of the opposition. The members of the Constitutional Assembly would not be elected in open elections, but selected from social organizations loyal to Maduro. In the days leading to the election, workers of state-owned companies were warned that their jobs would be terminated the following day if they did not vote in the election.
The day after the election Venezuela's President Maduro declared a sweeping victory in a vote that much of the world -- and many of his own citizens -- have called an assault on human rights and democracy.
"We have a Constituent Assembly. I said, come hell or high water-- and hell and high water came -- and the Constituent Assembly arrived from the hand of the people, from its conscience," Maduro said.
Maduro argued that the Constituent Assembly will help bring peace to a polarized country, with all branches of the government falling under the political movement founded by his late mentor and predecessor, Hugo Chavez.
Venezuela's National Electoral Council said more than 8 million people, about 41.53% of registered voters, cast ballots Sunday. That marked "the biggest turnout that the Bolivarian Revolution has had in its entire 18-year history," Maduro claimed.
But National Assembly President Julio Borges tweeted that the claim of 8 million voters was almost triple the actual turnout and marked "the biggest electoral fraud in our history."
The country braced for more protests Monday, the day after the election, as the political crisis has led to more than 125 deaths since April. On Sunday alone, 10 people were killed -- including two teenagers.
Maduro has said the assembly will help bring peace to the politically split country, but the opposition, and increasingly the international community, have warned that it will only serve for Maduro and the ruling socialist party to tighten their grip on power. The new assembly will be convened within 72 hours of the election and will function with virtually unlimited powers. Maduro and his closest allies have vowed to use the assembly to jail key opposition leaders, remove the country’s outspoken chief prosecutor from her post and strip opposition legislators of their constitutional immunity.
Maduro said the day prior to the election that the assembly would act as a “superpower (...) above and beyond every other”. The assembly, he said in a television address ahead of the vote, will be empowered to strip opposition legislators of immunity from prosecution. “The right wing already has its prison cell waiting,” the president said.
This is the way the collectivists (Communists, Marxists, Socialists, Progressives, Liberals, Democrats) operate. They must consolidate power and eliminate any opposition by whatever means is necessary. We are seeing these same types of actions happening in the United States. The Marxist/Progressives (Democrats) insist on having no verification on who casts votes. They are insisting on having fraudulent elections with massive voter fraud.
The Marxist/Progressives (Democrats) insist on sabotaging the United States Constitution by suppressing the legislative process and making law through the executive (when they control it) and the judiciary branches of the government. The Marxist/Progressives (Democrats) insist on sabotaging the legislative process using legislative gimmickry. The Marxist/Progressives (Democrats) have squelched freedom of speech through intimidation and questionable and laughable court orders. The Marxist/Progressives (Democrats) have jailed their opposition.
What is happening in Venezuela, the total consolidation of power in one party, is exactly what the Marxist/Progressives (Democrats) in the United States desire, it is what has been done in California. Freedom Loving Americans, understanding that freedom and liberty demand freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of thought, and we understand we must protect our opposition to preserve our freedom and liberty. This is a conundrum Freedom Loving people have faced throughout time, that is we must protect the rights of our opposition even though their goal is to eliminate us in any manner they can.