Overview and context
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Nationally Determined Contribution (UNFCCC website)
Venezuela is a federal democratic nation made up of 23 states and the federal district of Caracas. The power to make law rests in the unicameral legislature, the National Assembly, and is made up of 165 representatives, voted into office for five-year terms from congressional districts with no limits to the number of terms they may serve. The last election took place in December 2015, the next is expected for 2020.
Law projects (bills) are proposed by members of the National Assembly and go through two readings. Unless rejected during the first reading, the bill is sent to the corresponding legislative committee to elaborate the legal text. In the second reading, the bill is debated article by article. If approved outright, the bill will be proclaimed law by the Secretary of the National Assembly and sent to the executive branch for the President’s sanction. Should serious objections be raised, amendments will be proposed and the bill will return to the designated committee for revision.
Venezuelan constitutional law dictates that during the drafting of proposed legislation, the National Assembly and Legislative Committees shall consult with the executive branch (represented by the Council of Ministers), the judicial branch (represented by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), a special organ called the Council for Republican Morals meant to protect the democratic interests of citizens, and organised civil society. A bill becomes law once signed by the Secretary of the National Assembly, the President and two vice-presidents; and enacted on the day of its publication in the official gazette.