Proposal For Constitutional Reform

Author:Mr Adrian Carrillo
Profession:Baker & McKenzie

The President of the Republic in his official address to the Nation on August 15, 2007, presented his proposal for the reform of 33 articles of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Following are the main aspects of the constitutional reform:

New Political-Territorial Division of the Republic

It is proposed that the national territory be made up of a Federal District (where the capital of the Republic will be located), the States, the Maritime Regions, the Federal Territories, the Federal Municipalities and the Insular Districts. Referendums will be held for the approval of Federal Territories and Federal Municipalities in the respective areas.

The States will continue to be organized into Municipalities, but it is proposed that the primary political unit of the national territorial organization be the City, defined as all settlements of the population within the Municipality, and made up of geographical areas or extensions named Communes. The Communes shall be the geo-human cells of the territory and will be made up of the Communities, each of which will constitute "the basic and indivisible spatial core of the Venezuelan Socialist State, where the common citizens will have the power to build their own geography and their own history."

The Communal City is formed when the organized Communities, the communes and the Communal Self-Governments have been established throughout, its creation being subject to a people's referendum to be called by the President of the Republic in Council of Ministers.

It is provided that all the citizens, without discrimination based on gender, age, ethnicity, political or religious orientation or social condition, "shall enjoy and be the holders of the Right to the City," which is understood as the equitable benefit that each of the inhabitants receives, according to the strategic role articulated by the city, both within the urban regional context and within the "National System of Cities."

Modification of Political Rights and the Methods for the People's Participation and Protagonism

The proposal for constitutional reform eliminates the prohibition existing for the State under the current Constitution, to fund associations that have political purposes, expressly setting forth that "The State may finance electoral activities."

Financing political associations or persons who participate in electoral processes on their own initiative with funds or resources coming from foreign governments or...

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