National Assembly 2011-2015
Follow the news on the National Assembly’s activities and members, both those in favor of the government and those against it.
10.21.2011 2012 Budget to Strengthen Social Inclusion
In accordance with Article 186 of the 1999 Constitution, legislative power in Venezuela is exercised by the National Assembly, a body composed of 165 elected representatives for periods of five years. The representatives can stand for re-election.
The members of the National Assembly for the 2011-2015 session were elected on September 26, 2010, the fifteenth election carried out in Venezuela since President Hugo Chávez was first elected in 1998.
The September 26 election was especially notable not only for its historic turnout (66 percent of 17.7 million registered voters cast ballots), but also for the reincorporation of important sectors of the political opposition in the democratic arena. This election marked the opposition’s return to the democratic game, after the 2002 coup d’etat, 2002-2003 sabotage of the country’s oil industry and boycott of the 2005 legislative elections despite calls from the Organization of American States (OAS) and Carter Center not to do so.
Fifty-seven national political parties and 129 regional political parties participated in the September 26 elections.
Legislation in Venezuela establishes a mixed electoral system for the election of members of the National Assembly. One-hundred-ten members are elected by simple, or nominal vote, while 52 are elected in accordance to their affiliation to a political party and based on the principle of proportional representation. The three remaining seats are set aside for representatives of Venezuela’s indigenous communities.
While the majority of Venezuela’s representatives to the National Assembly are elected directly by name, the country still respects the importance of minority parties and, unlike the U.S., incorporates them into the political process via a system of proportional representation.
In the September 26 elections, a coalition of 10 opposition parties won 65 seats in the National Assembly, 22 of which went to Acción Democratica, 15 to Primero Justicia, 12 to Un Nuevo Tiempo, six to COPEI, two to Causa R, two to Podemos, two to Cuentas Claras, two to Proyecto Venezuela, one to Convergencia, and one to Dale.
The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), President Chávez’s political party, established itself as the single strongest political force in Venezuela by winning 98 seats. The PPT, which does not align itself with the government or opposition, won the remaining two seats.
For its 2011-2015 period, the National Assembly was seated on January 5, 2011. The assembly’s leadership is made of members of the majority party, in this case the PSUV, and include President Diosdado Cabello, First Vice President Aristóbulo Istúriz (afro descendant) and Second Vice President Blanka Eekhout .
On January 27, the assembly’s 15 permanent commissions were created. Of the 15, 11 are presided over by the PSUV and four by members of the various opposition parties. Click here for the Composition of the Permanent Commissions.
Read our newest Fact Sheet Venezuela: Transparency & Accountability to the People