Following Tuesday’s announcement that regional parliament and governor elections will be held in December, and elections for the National Constituent Assembly in July, opposition leader Julio Borges referred to the announcement as a “trap,” and called for opposition protests to continue in response to the announcement, El Nacional reported Tuesday.
“We will stay in the streets until our objectives are reached,” Borges said in a press conference held late on Tuesday.
Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) President Tibisay Lucena announced Tuesday that the country will hold elections for state governors and regional parliaments on Dec. 10, 2017, and that National Constituent Assembly elections will be held in July.
In response to the announcement by the CNE, the Democratic Unity Table, known as MUD by its Spanish acronym, has called for opposition protesters to march to the CNE building in Caracas Wednesday morning.
“We will not fall into their trap. We believe that today’s announcement wants to distract and divide” he said regarding the announcement.
Venezuela’s constituent assembly has received support from the National Electoral Council, oil union workers, sports promoters and other key sectors of Venezuela society.
Although 17 opposition parties have agreed to discuss the terms of a serious national dialogue with the government, right-wing groups aligned with MUD have refused to cooperate with the negotiations.
While opposition leaders have claimed that the call for a constituent assembly indicates the country’s fall into “dictatorship,” the constituent assembly process is allowed in artile 347 of the Bolivarian Constitution, which allows for the process with the goal of “transforming the state.”
“In this way the political forces will be able to mobilize their militants and contribute to peace,” Lucena said during Tuesday’s election announcement.
The Bolivarian President Nicolas Maduro confirmed earlier this month that presidential elections would be held as scheduled in 2018, as legally required. In spite of this, opposition leaders have repeatedly referred to the President as a “dictator.”
Opposition protests calling for the ouster of President Maduro, have continued for more than 8 weeks and claimed at least 60 lives. The opposition’s protests have frequently turned violent, and resorted to destructive tactics.
Although Borges and opposition media have blamed the deaths on “government repression” of protesters, reports have indicated that the majority of deaths were not protesters, and have not been the responsibility of state forces.