Chavez inauguration delayed
CARACAS - Agence France-Presse
Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez is battling cancer in the Cuban capital, Havana. AFP photoVenezuela’s ailing President Hugo Chavez cannot return home in time for his inauguration that was scheduled today, so will take the oath of office at a later date before the Supreme Court, the government has announced.
The announcement confirming that Chavez, 58, is too sick to be sworn in today’s inauguration day came in a letter to the National Assembly from Vice President Nicolas Maduro. “According to the recommendation of the medical team... the process of post-operative recovery must extend beyond today of the current year, and as such he will not be able to appear on that date before the National Assembly,” said the letter, read out by National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello.
The letter went on to say that, in keeping with article 231 of the Constitution, Chavez would take the oath before the Supreme Court at a later date. The government says the swearing-in is a mere formality that can be delayed, but the opposition says Chavez must at least be declared temporarily incapacitated and replaced on an interim basis by the National Assembly speaker.