Analysis | English | Video | 9 agosto 2013

South American parliamentarians discuss democratic deficit in Venezuelan congress (video)

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On July 22, 2013, was held in Caracas the Forum “Dialogue. Parliaments in political crisis contexts , “conducted by organizations involved in the project Monitor Legislativo , which was attended by three (3) distinguished parliamentarians from South America, such as Chilean Senator Hernan Larrain, Uruguayan Deputy Jaime Trobo and Peruvian former member Jose Ore Leon, and representing Venezuela Deputy Julio Borges (no government sector Deputy accepted the invitation of the Legislative Monitor organizations).

Talks were held by journalists Aymara Lorenzo and Eugenio Martinez and international guests, regarding contributions that Parliament can do in situations of high political conflict, as they had in the past of their own countries and now is Venezuela facing, guests were quick to recognize the complexity of the current context of Venezuelan democracy, even claiming that “in Venezuela there is a democratic culture crisis” and that “Venezuelan democracy has no guarantees for the full exercise of the representatives and lacks any international standard of respect for freedoms and rights. It is serious.“

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Political control of National Assembly (National Legislature) over the National Government (National Executive Branch), this is one of the reasons why parliamentarians from South America made such as statements. In fact, while in Chile, Uruguay and Peru, both constitutionally and rules governing the functioning of Parliament in these countries, political control mechanisms such as investigations, inquiries, oral or written interrogatories, etc.., can be activated by one third of the members of the respective House, and some of them can be used individually by parliamentarians, while final decision will be subject to absolute or qualified majority as the case may be, in Venezuela almost all of these mechanisms depends for its activation of absolute majority of votes in favor or House as a whole, or of Permanent Commission respectively.

As explained above, due to omissions in the Constitution and the current contents of Reglamento Interior y Debates, activation of parliamentary control mechanisms is subject to rule or principle of the majority, since these do not distinguish between majority to enable control and to take the final decision, as is desirable for pluralism, respect for political minority counterbalance to National Executive Branch (vital for democracy in presidential countries) and transparency in Parliament´s activities. Therefore, as emphasized by guests. Parliaments in contexts of political crisis, there is simply no recognition of opponents minorities, so there is no political control of Parliament over national government in Venezuela, which is equal to say, there is no separation of powers here much less democratic system of government.

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In any country, above mentioned would be a matter of serious concern, given the political authoritarianism that the Executive may establish. But in a country like Venezuela, where the national government is the main, and in some cases the only economic actor in the production, import, distribution, sale, transportation, use and storage of goods and services in general, including a number of first necessity such as food and medicines, lack of political control over that sort of monarch who ends up being the President of the Republic, can quickly convert the system to a totalitarian one, where the people, not to vote, review, profess any faith or communicate must obey the government, but for eating, toileting, maintain their health and keep their children. Without Parliament’s political control, beyond elections, there is not democracy or rule of law.

Source: Alerta Venezuela

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