WORLD / AMERICAS
Venezuela's newly-elected National Assembly convenes
Published: Jan 06, 2021 03:01 PM

President of Venezuela's newly-elected National Assembly, Jorge Rodriguez, speaks at the inauguration ceremony in Caracas, Venezuela, on Jan. 5, 2021. (Xinhua/Marcos Salgado)


 Venezuela's newly-elected National Assembly (Congress) convened for the first time on Tuesday, launching its 2021-2026 legislative period.

The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) leader Jorge Rodriguez was elected and sworn in as president of the 277-member legislative body, while Deputy Iris Varela was sworn in as first vice president and Deputy Didalco Bolivar, as second vice president.

All three are part of the PSUV-led ruling coalition that won more than 90 percent of assembly seats in a landslide victory in Dec. 6 elections.

"We are here for national political reconciliation, but without forgetting, without impunity. We are facing crimes that wanted to put an end to our country and the people of Venezuela," Rodriguez said in his first official speech.

"There can be no forgiveness with forgetfulness, there can be no reconciliation with amnesia," he added, referring to the institutional, economic and social damage caused by the previous opposition-led congressional leadership.

Lawmakers' first task will be to create a special commission to promote national dialogue between all political and social sectors, he said.

Rodriguez was president of the National Electoral Council in 2005 and 2006, vice president of Venezuela in 2007, mayor of the capital Caracas from 2008 to 2017, and minister of communication and information from 2017 to 2020.

Once the assembly's leadership was elected, its president swore in all the deputies.
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