Thousands of Venezuelan Communal Councils Adapt to Reformed Law

Merida, May 31st 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – 7,244 communal councils received information and training this week in how to adapt themselves to the Law of Communal Councils that was reformed in November last year, according to the Foundation for Development and Promotion of Communal Power (Fundacomunal), which is conducting the workshops.

14,951 spokespeople participated in the workshops, and Fundacomunal also reported that so far 820 permanent electoral commissions have registered at a national level.


Under the reformed law, the electoral commissions became permanent rather than temporary, communal banks lost their character as cooperatives and were placed under direct control of the council, some committees were merged and new ones were created. The reformed law also provided much more detail on the process for recalling elected spokespersons, and outlined a formal cycle of stages that councils should work through, among many other things.


The process of adaptation of the communal councils requires 14 steps and is facilitated by Fundacomunal.


First, councils have to call an assembly of the community to inform them of the process, of the need to form a permanent electoral commission and to form new committees, to update the council statutes, obtain legality, and transfer resources from the communal bank association.


This meeting of the community will elect people to promote the election of the electoral committee and establish the date, time and place to hold a citizens’ assembly for that election. Ten per cent of the community over 15 years old must be at this assembly.


Then councils have to register their electoral committee, which they can do online. After that the electoral commission calls on the community to run as spokespeople for the various committees, provides it with all the necessary information, and runs the process. Under the reformed law, these spokespeople then form the executive coordinating body of the communal council.


The community coordination collective has to update the communal council’s statutes, evaluate the communal council’s development plan and update the community census, which must then be approved by the citizens’ assembly.


Once the communal council is registered it then has one month to transfer the resources from the communal bank to the communal council to be run by it directly. Another citizens’ assembly is required, in order to make this transference, as well as a range of documentation of resources, income and so on.


Finally, the councils need to register with the appropriate office, in order to obtain legal power.


31,000 communal councils across the country have until 28 June to complete the process of adjustment and register.

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