Legislature must represent plurality of Venezuela, say bishops


The President of the Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela, Archbishop Baltazar Porras Cardozo, said this week the country ought to be governed by a pluralist government that is aware of its role in society.

During his opening remarks for the bishops’ general assembly, Archbishop Porras referred to the new National Assembly, which is dominated by 167 representatives of the ruling party, who were elected on December 4 by less than 30% of the electorate.

The makeup of the new Assembly, said the archbishop, raised questions about its ability to represent all Venezuelans.  He noted that 2006 would be a crucial year for the country, as presidential elections are scheduled to be held as well. In this sense he called for an overhaul of the country’s electoral system in order to give it more credibility and legitimacy. 

Archbishop Porras also called for discernment in the adoption of policies, as the delicate and fragile state of Venezuelan society demands that leaders seek to build “bridges that unite and that overcome fundamentalism and fanaticism.”

“The people feel disheartened and deceived by campaign promises,” the archbishop noted, and he called for “clear vision, courage, detachment, and sincere proposals” from those who seek to remain in power as well as from those who seek to attain it.

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