Indigenous Groups to Choose Venezuela Assembly Members in Traditional Election

Eight Indigenous candidates will be voted into Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly according to their customs and traditions on Aug. 1, to represent their communities among the 545 assembly members, who will be elected on July 30.

Candidates who were elected at assemblies of 3,473 communities around the country will participate in the final step in the election process which will be a series of three consecutive meetings and rituals taking place next Monday.

The members up for election were selected based on their ability to meet the requirements of the cultures, traditions, and customs of Venezuela’s different Indigenous peoples.

The ANC special body for Indigenous peoples and communities stated that the three ceremonies will be broken up by assemblies and conducted in the southern, western and eastern regions of the country.

The assembly of the Western Region, which will have four members in the ANC from the Merida, Trujillo and Zulia states, will hold its election in Zulia.

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council said the Eastern Region, which will get three members representing Anzoategui, Bolivar, Delta Amacuro, Monagas and Sucre states, will hold its election ceremony in Monagas, while the Southern Region, made up of Amazonas and Apure stated, will hold its traditional event in the Amazon.

Indigenous spokeswoman Aloha Nuñez commented earlier that throughout Venezuela Indigenous communities “are choosing their spokespeople to go to the regional assembly that corresponds to us.”

“It is the Indigenous peoples themselves who are choosing their candidates and will be the ones who will choose their Indigenous constituents,” she added.

The ANC will consist of a total of 545 elected members: 364 will be territorial representatives, while 181 will be voted in by sectors divided into peasants and fishermen, communal councils, students, pensioners, business people, Indigenous communities and people with disabilities.