President Nicolas Maduro said on May 1 he would create a new legislature to ease tensions after a month of anti-government protests. The new body will have the power to rewrite the constitution.
"A state transformation that can potentially lead to a new constitution is neither necessary nor relevant in the search of a solution to the indisputable and unprecedented crisis the country is going through," Ortega Diaz wrote in an open letter to Elias Jaua, in charge of the assembly process.
She refused to take part in preparations to set up the new legislature, citing the government’s intention to hold indirect elections and warned that, rather than reconcile the nation, the assembly could potentially deepen the political crisis.
Venezuela’s opposition has condemned the decision as an attempt to bypass the parliament where it has a majority. It has brought thousands of protesters to the streets since early April after the Supreme Court briefly took over from the National Assembly.