A constituent assembly is made up of citizens organized into political formations with the intention of putting into practice the national constitution, that is, a general law that encompasses the norms and principles that govern a nation. As a general criterion, citizens who are part of the Constituent Assembly are previously elected by the people through an electoral process. Consequently, these citizens represent the general will and constitute the legislative power. In this sense, the concept of constituent assembly must be understood as the origin of the democratic system .
The first Constituent Assembly
Historically, the first Constituent Assembly was formed after the French Revolution of 1789 and was the prelude to the French Constitution. At the same time, the Constituent Assembly is the general model that has inspired European and Latin American democracies since the 19th century. Constituent Assembly
In political terms, the French National Assembly had great repercussions for everyone in the orders: it established the end of the feudal model, the abolition of social privileges and the beginning of democracy, as we understand it today. On the other hand, the composition of the French National Assembly initiated a tradition that is still maintained in most parliaments: the difference between the left and the right.
The path towards the Constitution
The first step to the first Constitution was elaborated from general principles that should govern life in society , known as the Declaration of Human and Citizen ‘s Rights , which are a set of universal principles. This document served as a reference for the French Constitution of 1793, which highlighted two basic principles towards democracy: popular sovereignty and universal suffrage. Constituent Assembly
Key elements in constituent processes
The writing of a National Constitution involves a prior constituent process. Some of the common features in most processes are as follows:
– It is a process that is not imposed by the force of one group, but one that is motivated by consensus among the various political groups . Constituent Assembly
– For the Constitution to be representative of the popular will, it is necessary that there is broad popular participation in elections prior to the Constituent Assembly.
– The final approval of the new Constitution must be carried out through some popular consultation, normally a referendum.