Monday, December 10th 2012 - 05:37 UTC

If Chavez does not show up on January 10, new presidential election

With Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in Cuba for his fourth cancer surgery in two years and after naming Vice President and Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro as his successor if anything were to go wrong, the Constitution of the country contemplates several options, including new elections.

Maduro (R) and Diosdado Cabello (L), prominent figures of the Chavez regime

In the absolute absence of the president: resignation, removal, mental or physical incapacity, abandoning the post, revocation of the mandate or death, the constitution describes the situation in three articles, 233, 234 and 235.

Article 233 says that if the absolute absence of the elected president occurs before he takes the oath of office (next January 10), a new election will take place in the following consecutive thirty days. While the new leader is elected and takes office, the Executive will be in the hands of the National Assembly president. In this case Diosdado Cabello a strong figure in President Chavez entourage but hard liner and less flexible than Maduro.

When the absolute absence of the president occurs in the first four years of the constitutional mandate, there will a presidential election in the following thirty days. The Executive will then pass on to the hands of the Vice President until the new president is elected.

In both cases the new elected president will complete the six years of the original mandate beginning January 10.

If the absence occurs in the last two years of the six year mandate, the Vice President will take over the Executive office and complete the mandate.

Finally the temporary absences of the president will be covered by the Vice president for no longer than 90 days, extendable for another 90 days with the approval from the National Assembly and for an only one time. However “if the temporary absence goes beyond the consecutive ninety days, the National Assembly is empowered to hold a vote and by a majority vote can decide if it is an absolute absence.

5 comments Feed

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1 ChrisR (#) Dec 10th, 2012 - 11:15 am Report abuse
Then we all need to hope he is unable to attend and a new election is called, but I doubt it.

There will be some little wheeze to ensure the bus driver gets in for a while.
2 Idlehands (#) Dec 10th, 2012 - 12:41 pm Report abuse
A chorus of “My Way” is in order
3 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 10th, 2012 - 01:07 pm Report abuse
OK, the legal position seems sound, but it will be managed to the advantage of the 'party' in power.
Chavez's demise is so slow and inevitable that there is much time to prepare the electorate to ensure they vote 'the right way'.
4 Pirate Love (#) Dec 10th, 2012 - 01:30 pm Report abuse
“New Election”?

Tha cancer gets my vote!
5 ChrisR (#) Dec 10th, 2012 - 03:09 pm Report abuse
4 Pirate Love


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