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Caracas, Tuesday August 16 , 2005  
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Government props up reform for President Chávez' reelection until 2030

Henry Ramos Allup, the Secretary-General of opposition Acción Democrática party fears that the government may advance a constitutional reform to remove restriction to two consecutive presidential terms. In this way, President Hugo Chávez could remain in office until 2030.

"They intend to control, by using the twin-ballot system and the advantages of the electoral system, two thirds or more at the National Assembly. Therefore, they could further a punctual constitutional reform. As a result, the Venezuelan president, elected for six years, could be reelected immediately for an additional term," Ramos Allup explained.

In his view, the intention aired Monday by President Chávez to remain in office until 2030 is an overt message for government deputies to lay the appropriate legal foundations and "also extend the presidential term from six to nine years."

He underscored that there is no need to submit the reform initiative to public consultation. In the case of punctual amendments to the constitution, the vote of two-thirds at the National Assembly is enough.

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