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 swearing-in ceremony, which was slated for Jan. 10, 2013, is not vital given Chavez's status as a reelected president, the court said.
On Tuesday, National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello said the Assembly allowed Chavez to stay in Cuba and the inauguration could legally take place at a later date.
Chavez, reelected to another six-year term in presidential elections on Oct. 7, 2012, has been hospitalized after a fourth round of cancer surgery last December in Cuba.
The following are key facts about Venezuela's electoral system:
Venezuela, officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, passed a constitutional referendum in 2009, which abolished terms limits for the offices of the president.
The Article 231 of the Constitution stipulates the president-elect shall take office on Jan. 10 of the first year of their constitutional term, by taking an oath before the National Assembly. If for any reason, the president-elect cannot be sworn in before the National Assembly, he shall take the oath before the Supreme Court.
According to the Article 233, when there is an absolute absence of the president-elect before taking office, there shall be a new election within the next 30 consecutive days.
Pending the election and inauguration of the new president, presidential power should be held temporarily by head of the National Assembly.
The president has the power to appoint and dismiss the cabinet, dissolve the National Assembly, command the Armed Forces, establish the leading decisions on foreign policy, and call for referendums.
Venezuela's main political parties are the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela and a coalition of opposition parties known as the Democratic Unity Roundtable.