The Venezuelan National Asembly passed the enabling law that allows the country's president to act to protect the peace against recent threats made by the United States government of Barack Obama.
The bill, which received 99 percent of votes from the Great Patriotic Pole alliance – the largest voting bloc in the assembly, will now move to a second reading for final approval. The move follows a statement by the United States government Monday that declared Venezuela a “threat to the national security” and calling a national emergency.
According to Venezuela’s constitution, 60 percent of the National Assembly must approve an enabling law, and the purpose behind the law and its time frame must be clear.
President Maduro addressed the National Assembly Tuesday afternoon after the enabling law legislation law was submitted, saying the country’s parliamentary elections must go on in spite of the gravity of the threats made by the Obama administration.
“I ask god for protection, if major events shake our country with me alive or not, the order is rain or shine, parliamentary elections will happen this year whether the empire wants it or not. We are going to parliamentary elections and let the people decide what will happen in this country,” Maduro said during an impassioned address. “And we will go into it with the same position as always... If we win, win, and if we lose, lose and that's it ... Democracy, peace and constitution is what we want.
During his speech, the president also thanked Latin America and Caribbean nations who have expressed support to his government against the constant attacks of the United States.
Speaking earlier on national public television, Maduro explained that the proposal had been written together with the deputy attorney general, Reinaldo Muñoz, in order to preserve Venezuela’s “integrity, sovereignty, in the face of any circumstances that could arise with this imperialist aggression.”
Maduro also reported that various executive bodies had discussed actions “to politically and diplomatically denounce this United States aggression to various organizations,” in order to prove the illegality of the U.S. decree.
The last time Maduro requested an enabling law was in 2013. The purpose of that one was to fight corruption and what the government has called an “economic war” being waged by business and opposition sectors.
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