Nicolás Maduro announces that the National Constituent Assembly will function until December

Unrecognized opposition elections will be held in that month
In this archival photo taken on January 14, 2020, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro delivers a speech at the Caracas Constituent Assembly

REUTERS/MANAURE QUINTERO  -   In this archival photo taken on January 14, 2020, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro delivers a speech at the Caracas Constituent Assembly

Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela's president, announced on Monday that the pro-Chávez National Constituent Assembly (ANC) will be active until next December, when a new parliament will be chosen in elections that are not recognized by the opposition, the United States and the European Union (EU).

"The National Constituent Assembly will function until December. It has already decided so", the Venezuelan leader said in a video conference of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

Elected on July 30, 2017, amidst massive protests over alleged electoral fraud, the ANC assumed the powers of Parliament, the only power that controls the opposition in the Caribbean country, by enacting decree-laws of immediate application. It is considered "illegal" both by the opposition and by more than fifty countries, which have been demanding free and transparent elections under the supervision of international observers. 

The elections for the National Assembly, called for December 6, will not have the participation of the opposition, which denounces them as a fraud.

Meanwhile, Nicolás Maduro on Monday denounced a "global boycott" of the December elections to renew the Caribbean country's Parliament, an election in which the opposition will not run and which will not have unanimous international recognition.

"We are facing a worldwide boycott against the parliamentary, constitutional elections," Maduro said during the last virtual meeting of the PSUV broadcast by the public channel Venezolana de Televisión (VTV). "We must face it, but head on, head on with imperialism and its lackeys (...) They want to boycott the elections in Venezuela, to sabotage the elections in Venezuela," the president added.

In Venezuela, more than 20.7 million citizens are called to the polls on December 6, when the 277 seats of the unicameral Parliament will be elected. But the opposition, which controls the body for the time being, has said it will not run in the elections, considering them "a farce", and has asked its supporters not to go to the polls.

Two weeks ago, opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who leads one of the two directives that claim to control Parliament and is recognized as interim president by 50 countries, called for "mobilizing" the opposition base against these elections, although he said the context is "complex" and cannot "add to the spread of a virus," in reference to SARS-COV-2, which causes COVID-19.