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Montevideo, May 24th 2018 - 23:30 UTC

Maduro practically admits Chavez won’t be in Caracas for the January 10 oath

Saturday, January 5th 2013 - 05:35 UTC
Full article 6 comments
The Vice-president making the announcement from Havana The Vice-president making the announcement from Havana

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez' formal swearing-in for a new six-year term scheduled for January 10 can be postponed if he is unable to attend due to his struggle to recover from cancer surgery, his vice-president said on Friday.

Nicolás Maduro's comments were the clearest yet that Venezuela's government is preparing to delay the swearing-in while avoiding naming a replacement or calling a new election.

The political opposition argues that Chávez' presence on that date in Cuba - where there are rumours he may be dying from complications after his latest operation on December 11, is tantamount to the president's stepping down.

But Maduro, waving a copy of the constitution during an interview with state TV, said there was no problem if Chávez was sworn in at a later date by the nation's top court.

“The formality of his swearing-in can be resolved in the Supreme Court,” he said.

Despite his serious medical condition, there was no reason to declare Chávez's “complete absence” from office, Maduro said. Such a declaration would trigger a new election within 30 days, according to Venezuela's charter.

Chávez was conscious and fighting to recover, said Maduro, who travelled to Havana to see his boss this week. “We will have the Commander well again,” he said.

Maduro, whom Chávez named as his preferred successor should he be forced to leave office, said Venezuela's opposition had no right to go against the will of the people as expressed in the Oct. 7 vote to re-elect the president.

”The president right now is president ... Don't mess with the people. Respect democracy”.

Top Comments

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  • Anglotino

    Venezuela is heading into constitutional limbo from January 10th. Maduro might talk about respecting the will of the people and democracy, however that is not permission to ignore the letter and spirit of the constitution.

    Either way it can only be dragged out for so long. Chavez will either recover or he won't. The fact he cannot be sworn in shows that he is indeed extremely unwell and not just recovering from some minor complication.

    Maduro might believe that Chavez can be sworn in at a later date but how much later? The constitution does not say but you would have to think that 6 years might be a little too late. Opinion currently says that 180 days and hence 9th July seems to be the longest the constitution can be stretched out to cover this situation.

    Jan 05th, 2013 - 06:58 am 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Flying off the constitutional committee to Cuba to swear in a man on his death-bed is stretching the constitution and good sense.

    Jan 05th, 2013 - 02:01 pm 0
  • reality check

    Am I wrong, but don't most constitutions require that a candidate for the highest office, be fit enough to serve?

    Why would you allow someone to run for that office? who is likely to secumb to a fatal disease, shortly after winning office.

    That's not being cruel, it's just common sense to me.

    Jan 05th, 2013 - 02:09 pm 0
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