Today, Elías Jaua posted a letter on Twitter (yes, Venezuela’s main news source) inviting the opposition coalition “MUD” to a meeting in Miraflores.

…in my condition as President of the Presidential Commission in charge of drafting a proposal for the sectoral and regional electoral bases, as well as the main aspects that will serve as a foundation for the establishment and functioning of a National Constituent Assembly…

Once again, Mr. Jaua finds himself in a role that violates the Constitution. Perhaps that’s why he’s so eager to replace it. By now, one would think he would be used to living on the fringe.

The purpose of the meeting is to inform MUD of the motivation of the initiative and the “programmatic objectives” of the Constituent Assembly.

Renowned constitutional lawyers have insisted on this point: Maduro’s plan to reset the Constitution is unconstitutional. Article 347 is clear: only “the people” can convene a Constituent Assembly. Other instances —the president, 2/3rds of the National Assembly, etc.— can take the initiative in asking the people to convene that Constituent Assembly. But without the authorization of the people, expressed through a referendum, none of them have the power to actually convene a Constituent Assembly.

The Math is Straightforward: No referendum, no Constituent Assembly.

Maduro’s proposal is in clear violation of Art. 347.

This is something that you need to keep top of your mind when discussing the subject.

When do you think that the referendum will take place?

NO, it’s unconstitutional, next question…

Will the constituent process be held under the same rules as in 1999?

NO, it’s unconstitutional, next question…

Do you think general elections will be held because of the constituent assembly?

NO, it’s unconstitutional, next question…

Considering Maduro’s popularity, we may have a chance…

NO, it’s unconstitutional. If you keep at it, I may have to kick your ass.

Article 347 is clear: only “the people” can convene a Constituent Assembly.

I stressed this point over on The Daily Beast, and I want to double down on it: many people are turning to the how and the when of this non-sense, skipping right past the why and forgetting the disruptive effect that Chavista strategies have on political turning points.
This is not a solution. This is chavismo bringing us to its court. This is the same exact same rabbit they’ve been pulling out of their hats for 18 years.

The opposition has been clear about their demands. Losing focus right now would be a deadly blunder.

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