Supreme Court backs delay of Chavez inauguration
Caracas: The Supreme Court of Venezuela on Wednesday ruled that the inaugural ceremony of Hugo Chavez can be legally postponed.
Worsening health condition of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had prevented him from returning home in time for his inauguration.
This had created much controversy as the opposition was not in support of indefinite delay, which they thought was against the rule.
The court was presided by Luisa Morales, who made it clear that it was not necessary for Chavez to attend the ceremony scheduled on January 10, and he remains the President.
It was the opposition which had asked for the court’s opinion into this matter as the National Assembly had earlier given indefinite time to Chavez to recover.
The government had said that the swearing-in is a mere formality that can be delayed, but the opposition maintained that he must at least be declared temporarily incapacitated and replaced on an interim basis by the National Assembly speaker.
The charter to which the opposition is referring also says new elections must be held within 30 days if the president-elect or president dies or is permanently incapacitated either before he takes office or in the first four years of his six-year term.
The 58-year-old Venezuelan president has been undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba for the past month, most recently battling respiratory complications.
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