CARACAS, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela would hold a presidential election within 30 days after the death of President Hugo Chavez, while Vice President Nicolas Maduro would take presidential duties until then, Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said Tuesday.
Without giving further details on the election date, Jaua said in televised remarks that Chavez had made arrangements as early as in December in case he died.
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, a 40-year-old governor of Miranda state who was defeated by Chavez in the October 2012 election, urged the government to "act strictly within its constitutional duty."
Earlier in the day, Maduro announced that a panel will be set up to determine the causes of Chavez's illness, and said the deceased president,who died after battling cancer for two years, was infected with virus by "imperialist" foes.
During a televised meeting of political and military leaders at the presidential palace, the vice president said there was "no doubt" that Chavez was attacked by "imperialist" enemies in alliance with domestic ones.