Soldiers guard Venziela's National Assembly in Caracas, capital of Venezuela, on Jan. 9, 2013. Venezuela's Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the government's decision to delay the inauguration of ailing President Hugo Chavez, who is recovering from surgery in Havana, Cuba. (Xinhua/Juan Carlos Hernandez)
CARACAS, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's Supreme Court Wednesday upheld the government's decision to delay the inauguration of ailing President Hugo Chavez, who is recovering from surgery in Havana, Cuba.
The president of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), Luisa Estrella Morales, accompanied by all the members of the high court, announced the unanimous decision at a press conference, dampening a raging debate between Chavez supporters and opponents regarding the leader's status while he recovers in hospital.
Chavez's "absence from the country should not be considered a temporary absence (from power)," said Morales, striking down one of the main arguments of the opposition, which claimed an interim leader should be named given the leader's absence.
The swearing-in ceremony "will take place when the motive impeding it ceases," said Morales.
Chavez, reelected to another six-year term in October, was scheduled to take the oath of office at the National Assembly on Thursday, Jan. 10, in accordance with the Constitution, but aides maintained that the ceremony, as a mere formality, could be postponed.
The Constitution also allows the swearing in to take place before the Supreme Court.
Having been reelected, Venezuela's current government maintains an administrative continuity that has not been interrupted by Chavez's absence, the court agreed.
"Despite the fact that on Jan. 10 a new constitutional term begins, a new swearing-in ceremony is not needed given his status as a reelected president," the court decided.
Morales added, however, that the inauguration could be held at a later date.
In December, Chavez underwent a fourth operation on an unspecified type of cancer in his pelvic region, and later contracted a lung infection, complicating his recovery.
His aides said he is following events at home and taking decisions from his hospital bed.
CARACAS, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Venezuelan government confirmed Tuesday that President Hugo Chavez will not be able to be sworn-in Thursday, Jan. 10, as the Constitution stipulates.
The president of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello read a letter from Vice President Nicolas Maduro during a regular session, informing the parliament of Chavez's inability to take the oath of office on that day. Full story
CARACAS, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- As Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez recovers from a cancer surgery in Cuba, his closest aides, allies and intellectuals are rallying around the ailing head of state.
National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello said Monday some "friendly" state leaders will travel to the capital Caracas to show their support on Thursday, the day Chavez was scheduled to be sworn in as president for another six-year term. Full story
CARACAS, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- The just re-elected president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, in his address after his confirmation, said Saturday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "will still be the President beyond January 10th", despite of his precarious health.
Cabello, who was re-elected as President of the National Assembly thanks to the votes of his majority Socialist United Party of Venezuela (PSUV), said Chavez does not need to take another oath in front of the Parliament to become President, since he was re-elected. Full story