Friday, December 21st 2012 - 04:21 UTC

Chavez January 10 inauguration could be delayed, suggests top Bolivarian official

For the first time a government official in Venezuela has raised the possibility that Hugo Chavez's January 10 inauguration could be delayed as the president struggles to recover from his latest cancer surgery in Cuba.

National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello: “you can’t tie the will of the people to one date” (Photo: Reuters)

Comments by National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello suggest government officials may postpone the inauguration to accommodate Chavez's recovery.

Any delay would outrage the opposition, which has insisted for months that Chavez officially hand over power while he convalesces in Cuba. The constitution says he should be sworn-in again on January 10, but there are conflicting interpretations over what would happen if he is not.

“You can't tie the will of the people to one date. If you didn't do it that day, if it isn't the tenth, doesn't the will of eight million people count?” Cabello was quoted as saying by local media on Wednesday.

Cabello spoke after a Socialist Party news conference, insisting he was offering his personal opinion and not the “official position” of his party or the national assembly.

He said the assembly could ask the Supreme Court, widely believed to be under the thumb of Chavez allies, for a ruling on any possible postponement. He said in one case a mayor was given a three-month extension to their inauguration date.

Cabello is the third most powerful figure in the government after Chavez's heir apparent, Vice President Nicolas Maduro.

One constitutional law professor said Chavez's inability to begin his third term on January 10 would not automatically trigger new elections, as has been widely reported in media.

“The issue always ends up in a debate in parliament. It's the whole assembly that will decide” through a majority vote if the president is no longer fit for office, said Jose Vicente Haro of the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Caracas.

Opposition leaders decried Cabello's comments as a sign the Socialist Party could fiddle with succession rules to accommodate the president's recovery.

“The law guarantees order and peace. We must respect the constitution with no shortcuts because this could lead to anarchy, which nobody wants,” said opposition legislator Hiram Gaviria. “There is no need for any interpretation by the Supreme Court.”

Chavez himself raised the possibility of his incapacitation before leaving for Cuba, naming Maduro as his preferred successor and urging Venezuelans to vote for the former bus driver if there were a new presidential election.

19 comments Feed

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1 Anglotino (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 06:14 am Report abuse
Well it's seem Venezuela may well soon find itself in the same shoes as Paraguay.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander!

Failure to inaugurate a president on January 10th calls for new elections. Failure to do so would mean that Venezuela's democratic institutions and credentials are just as damaged as Paraguay's were. If parliament has anyone else acting as president then this is akin to a coup.

So suspension from UNASUR and Mercosur until a new president is elected.

The opinion of the Venezuelan parliament and courts is unimportant; again just like Paraguay.

2 Bubba (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 08:58 am Report abuse
There is a long black train waiting for Chavez..
3 Idlehands (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 11:24 am Report abuse
They will probably postpone until they can fathom a way of connecting an operating microphone on the banks of the river Styx
4 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 12:33 pm Report abuse
Mercosan logic will prevail and determine this is different than Paraguay. lol Technically if the sitting president's term end and the new is not sworn in, there is not president of venezuela.
5 Anglotino (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 03:13 pm Report abuse
Technically if he isn't sworn in an election must be called as Chevez is no longer president.

So unless that happens the constitution has not been followed. It's a technical coup.

Or course Mercosur logic will be followed. I don't expect the same thing will happen. I clearly expect a case of double standards.
6 ChrisR (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 07:37 pm Report abuse
@2 Bubba

For those who believe in the RC 'faith' the rider of the Green Horse awaits Dead Man Not Walking (he's lying on his death bed: after two lung infections, another one usually proves fatal).

One can only hope. That would settle it surely?
7 Mendoza Canadian (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 11:46 am Report abuse
Like in Argentina he got 54% of the vote...which to them means that they won a landslide. The other 46% are just not important.
8 ChrisR (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 02:01 pm Report abuse
7 Mendoza Canadian

Yes, you have spotted the obvious (to anyone with a brain in their head) almost magical 54%.

They mustn't report 52.2% because to the SA mind that is no different to 50% plus a bit and that would not be a win. And why not 53.8%? Mmm, that is also too low!

So like Goldilocks and the three bears 54% is just right.

You couldn’t make it up. :o)
9 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 02:38 pm Report abuse
So Chubby had a tracheotomy (slice his throat for an airway to breath), He is on live support, is reported to be unconscious. The chavistas ruled out a new election because “the people voted for Chubby”. What is wrong with that much for constitutions meaning anything to south americans. This man is all but dead and they are refusing a new election, where is the mercosur uproar of democracy for the people?
10 ChrisR (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 04:46 pm Report abuse

Don't worry; I have a new life-like doll of Dead Man Not Walking with extra strength pins to stick in it.

The old hag I brought it from told me TMBOA has them fashioned in bulk to match her enemies!

Oh dear, just spotted a problem in that, hers don't work!

LOLs, not long now.
11 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 07:35 pm Report abuse
She must have 1000s of argentine middleclass. Where is the bitch hiding these days?
12 ChrisR (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 09:11 pm Report abuse

Yes, that is good question. No rantings and foaming at the mouth either of late.

Anybody know if TMBOA has been on TV lately?

Lets hope the hypo-blood pressure problem has proved too much and she has not recovered from the 'last' faint.

That would be an excellent start for the New Year.
13 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 11:25 am Report abuse
He's right, if Chavez can go on being President but can't be in a particualr place at a particular time on a particular date, because his life depends on being somewhere else, thats hardly reason to call new elections! Or maybe he could be sworn in in hospital? LBJ was sworn in on Airforce 1 straight after Kennedy was shot; having a President trumped fancy ceremony...

#12 Don't worry, she'll be back =) So am I =)
14 Anglotino (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 12:39 pm Report abuse
@13 British_Kirchnerist

Actually you are wrong. According to Artice 231 of the Venezuelan constitution implemented by none other than Chavez:
“The candidate elected shall take office as President of the Republic on January 10 of the first year of his constitutional term, by taking an oath before the National Assembly. If for any supervening reason, the person elected President of the Republic cannot be sworn in before the National Assembly, he shall take the oath of office before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice”

The debate is already starting but it would seem that he can only be sworn in in Venezuela itself. A US comparison has no standing simply because that is due to the US Constitution.

If he is not sworn in then technically he is not the President. According to Article 233 a new election must be held within 30 days. Some are arguing that due to Article 234 the Vice President can rule in a President's place for 180 days. However even this has issues as it will depend on whether Chavez is permanently incapacitated or not.

The Venezuelan constitution is not a very old document so doesn't have the benefit of nearly 200 years of use and interpretation that the US constitution does.

Twisting the meaning of the document to serve the purpose of one man can be a dangerous precedent and doesn't bode well for the future when such an interpretation and precedent could be used for a different purpose.

The constitution is supposed to be greater than any one person. Unfortunately there are many in Venezuela who are contorting their beliefs at this very moment and forgetting this. The constitution was always meant to survive Chavez, people should remember that otherwise the whole edifice will start to crumble sooner rather than later.
15 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 12:40 pm Report abuse
BK you're back! I thought you only post just before they close the article.
You are right BK, why follow the constitution when their president on life support. I mean they can just alter it to fit their need like they all do.
16 ChrisR (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 02:16 pm Report abuse
Dead Man Not Walking has steadfastedly since his original term as President removed the operating system of the Government so that HE is the government.

No-one else can take the decisions in his absence, that is why everything in Venezuela will fail no matter who is in charge.

Perhaps they can carry him in a mobile life support unit to make his pledge. He could always raise a finger, left index for YES (being a commie it must be his left) and his right index finger for NO.

With a bit of luck the excitement will see him off and they can chuck him on the bonfire without further ado.

I would pay money to witness that.
17 ptolemy (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 12:48 pm Report abuse
Chavez himself, implies that the country should abide by the constitution by urging Venezuelans to vote for the former bus driver if there were a new presidential election.
18 ChrisR (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 04:37 pm Report abuse
BAD NEWS FOLKS (if you can believe it).

BsAs Herald reports that one of Dead Man Not Walkings' minions telephoned Chavez in Cuba and he has told the country that Chavez is out of bed and walking and talking. Chavez gave him instructions about the 2013 budget apparently.

Can't wait to see him arrive in time for Jan 10th. ;o)
19 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 06:47 pm Report abuse
ChrisR beileve that? You know the three biggest lies in the world?

1- the checks in the mail
2-really.....I love you
3- Of couse I won't _um in your mouth

now they added a 4th

4- chubby is wup, excercising and doing well.

They need to keep this up until they can fake it past January 10th. Ever see “Weekend at Bernies”? Now it “a month a Raul's”
They can bury him after the 10th when the bus driver takes over.

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