many innovations of the 2001 Bolivarian Constitution, was the possibility of
introducing legal bills by citizens if a certain number of signatures were
gathered. The bill would be introduced by a group of citizens and the National
Assembly would be obligated to consider it and discuss it during the first
period of sessions after the Bill was introduced. If it was not discussed, then
Article 205 of the Constitution says that the Bill would simply be
considered in a referendum during the next election.
Well, in November
2002, ONG Queremos Elegir (We want to elect) submitted a reform of the “Citizens
Power Bill” for consideration by the National Assembly. The Bill was never discussed
so that Article 205 would apply. But nothing has been done on it. Thus,
Queremos Elegir met one month ago with the Head of the Electoral Board (CNE) to
inquire about the peculiar fact that another referendum, that of a Constituent
Assembly for the Metropolitan area of Caracas,
was approved in only one month.
was very polite and said that first he had to check whether the Bill had or not
been considered (which he has not done after one month) and the truth is nothing
has happened since the visit.
Easy, under this reform, the members of the “Citizens Power” the
General-Prosecutor, the People’s Ombudsman and Mr. Rodriguez himself
to resign and new members selected by the National Assembly. So, the
much ballyhooed “participative democracy” can be put on hold whenever
it is convenient to those
that proposed it to begin with.
another “right” of the revolution bites the dust in the face of political and