Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Caracas, May 24 (RHC)-- Tens of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets Tuesday to demand peace, as President Nicolas Maduro rejected new calls for violence by the right-wing opposition and detailed the process of electing representatives to the upcoming national Constituent Assembly aimed at easing high-running political tensions in the South American country.
Addressing a large crowd in Caracas, Maduro declared that the Constituent Assembly, a process to rewrite the country's Constitution, "is born today" and will include representation for workers, campesinos and students, people with disabilities, Indigenous people, retirees, the business sector and communes, as well as 364 members representing municipalities. The president said that the constituents "will be selected in the territorial and sectorial spheres with a universal and secret vote."
"Every municipality will have a constituent, no matter how large or small," he explained, reading out a list of the number of local representatives in each state. "Democracy, democracy and more democracy! A municipality Constituent Assembly ... More democracy (than this), impossible!"
The president also detailed the criteria for candidates hoping to become a representative in the Constituent Assembly, including being a Venezuelan citizen, over 18 years of age and registered with the National Electoral Council. The decree Maduro read was delivered to electoral authorities after the address.
"We want peace! Constituent Assembly, now!" Maduro shouted, sparking a chant among the crowds as he wrapped up his address. "Ever onward to victory! Long live peace, long live the Constituent Assembly!"
The new details of the Constituent Assembly came after Maduro called on Sunday for a "Great March for Peace, Life and Coexistence" in Caracas following a new wave of anti-government terrorist actions that have burned public buses, attacked public and private property and led to the deaths of at least 60 people.
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