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Post by Isakenaz on Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:03 am

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced on Friday (4 January) that President Hugo Chávez’s new term of office will begin this Thursday 10 January, in line with the country’s Constitution. Hugo Chávez won a record number of votes to be re-elected President with a landslide 55% last October.

Vice President Maduro explained that the official Presidential swearing in ceremony can be done at a later date by the Supreme Court, in line with Articles 231-235 of Venezuela’s constitution, once Chávez returns from Cuba where he is undergoing treatment for cancer.Maduro called on “all Venezuelans to read their copy of the Constitution” where provisions relevant to the current situation of the country are clearly outlined. For example Article 231 of Venezuela’s Constitution clearly explains that: “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”.

Furthermore, despite the claims by the opposition that a new election should be called, Article 233 makes it clear that this is only the case if a “an elected President becomes permanently unavailable”, which clearly does not apply in this instance.Despite Chávez’s overwhelming electoral mandate and the constitutional provisions, Maduro warned that the right-wing is attempting to use Chavez’s current absence to force a new election in what he labelled an “accelerated coup d’etat”. Maduro explained that opposition leader, Guillermo Aveledo recently sent a letter to all ambassadors in Venezuela in which he develops “a false thesis of what is stated in the National Constitution”. He added that “In recent hours the misinterpretations of the right have increased as they believe that their hour has come. They have launched a national and international campaign against the Venezuelan people, looking to take advantage of the circumstances in order to destabilise the country”. The objective of these plans is to “reverse and destroy the Bolivarian Revolution”. http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org.uk/vic/
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