Chapter 1. Amendments
Amendments add to or modify one or more articles of the Constitution, without altering its fundamental structure.
The procedure for adopting amendments is:
- The initiative may emanate from 15% of the citizens registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry, from 39% of the members of the National Assembly or from the President, sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers.
- When the initiative emanates from the National Assembly, the amendment shall require approval by a majority of the members of that body, and shall be debated in accordance with the procedure established under this Constitution for the enactment of laws.
- Electoral Power shall submit the amendments to a referendum within 30 days of formally receiving the same.
- Amendments shall be deemed approved in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and the law concerning the approval referendum.
- Amendments shall be numbered consecutively and shall be published beneath the Constitution without altering the text of the latter, but with an annotation at the bottom of the amended article(s) of the number and date of the amendment modifying the same.
Chapter 2. Constitutional Reform
The purpose of constitutional reform is to effect a partial revision of this Constitution and replacement of one or more of the provisions hereof, without modifying the fundamental principles and structure of the text of the Constitution.
The initiative for a constitutional reform emanates from the National Assembly, by resolution approved by a majority vote of the members, from the President of the Republic sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers, or at the request of registered voters constituting at least 15% of the total number registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry.
The National Assembly shall process constitutional reform as follows:
- The draft constitutional reform shall be debated for the first time during the legislative session during which it is submitted.
- Second debate title by title or chapter by chapter, as applicable.
- Third and last debate article by article.
- The National Assembly shall approve the draft constitutional reform in a time period no later than two years, counted since the date the reform application was submitted and approved.
- The draft constitutional reform shall be approved with a two third members vote of the National Assembly.
Once approved by the National Assembly, the draft constitutional reform shall be submitted to a referendum within 30 days from its approval. The referendum shall pass on the reform as a whole, but up to one third of the same may be voted on separately, if at least one third of the National Assembly so agrees, or if in the initiative for the reform, the President of the Republic or a number of registered voters equivalent to at least 5% of the total registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry so requests.
The constitutional reform shall be declared approved if the number of affirmative votes is greater than the number of negative votes. A revised constitutional reform initiative may not be submitted during the same constitutional term of office of the National Assembly.
The President of the Republic shall be obligated to promulgate Amendments and Reforms within ten days of their approval. If he fails to do so, the applicable provisions of this Constitution shall apply.
Chapter 3. National Constituent Assembly
The original constituent power rests with the people of Venezuela. This power may be exercised by calling a National Constituent Assembly for the purpose of transforming the State, creating a new juridical order and drawing up a new Constitution.
The initiative for calling a National Constituent Assembly may emanate from the President of the Republic sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers; from the National Assembly, by a 2/3 vote of its members; from the Municipal Councils in open session, by a two-thirds vote of their members; and from 15% of the voters registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry.
The President shall not have the power to object to the new Constitution. The existing constituted authorities shall not be permitted to obstruct the Constituent Assembly in any way. For purposes of the promulgation of the new Constitution, the same shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Venezuela or in the Gazette of the Constituent Assembly.
The people of Venezuela, true to their republican tradition and their struggle for independence, peace and freedom, shall disown any regime, legislation or authority that violates democratic values, principles and guarantees or encroaches upon human rights.