11/01/2018 Politics

Member of Venezuela's constituent assembly assassinated: official

Tomas Lucena, a member of Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly (ANC), was murdered on Wednesday, Delcy Rodriguez, president of the top legislative body, informed.



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The victim was the ANC member representing northwest Trujillo state.

"We condemn the vile assassination of the constituent for Trujillo, Tomas Lucena. We express our condolences to his parents, wife, children and friends," Rodriguez posted on Twitter.

Rodriguez said that the assassination is under investigation.



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Those "responsible for this reprehensible crime will be punished," said Rodriguez, adding that "nothing will stop the constituent assembly and its defense of Venezuela."



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According to local media, the Public Ministry has yet to issue a statement on the killing, but Trujillo Gov. Henry Rangel Silva said Lucena "was intercepted by men on a motorcycle" who fired on him.

The controversial legislative body, constituted to draft a new Constitution, has come under fire from the country's right-wing parties, which allege the ANC usurps the power of the National Assembly (Congress), where the conservatives hold an absolute majority.



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The ruling socialist party proposed to set up the ANC as a way to overcome the political deadlock that has plagued Venezuela since President Nicolas Maduro was elected president with a slight lead over his right-wing rival.