Congress Speaker hints possibility of adjourning Chávez's inauguration date
"You cannot subject people's decision to one single date, no matter what the Constitution provides," Cabello told Argentine state-run news agency Télam
The United Socialist Party of Venezuela "has not pondered the possibility that President Hugo Chavez is not able to take power for his new presidential term" next January 10. However, Cabello, who is the second vice-president of the PSUV, "speaking on his own behalf," believes that adjournment of the inauguration date should not be ruled out.
"You cannot subject people's decision to one single date, no matter what the Constitution provides," Cabello told Argentine state-run news agency Télam.
One of the strong men of the government and the PSUV, Cabello has been Chávez's ally since he was captain of the army and led a coup d'etat in 1992. Cabello's comments came during an informal talk with some journalists, including Télam correspondent, at the end of a press conference offered on Tuesday to assess the results of the gubernatorial vote held on December 16.
Cabello emphasized that his comments do not represent the official stance of the government and the PSUV. However, such remarks may suggest what is the path Chávez's supporters may take in the event that Chávez's health condition prevents him from taking power next January 10.
The Venezuelan Constitution, reformed in 1999 under Chávez's first term and amended following a referendum in 2009, provides that if a president-elect cannot take office as scheduled, the National Assembly Speaker must call new elections in 30 days.
Let us start by looking at what appears to be a discrepancy in figures. According to official statistics, the number of Venezuelans contracting HIV/AIDS every year amounts to 11,699; and as per Ministry of Health figures 43,805 people receive free antiretroviral medications. But Jhonatan Rodríguez, the president of ONG StopVIH, claims that these figures date back to March 2012, and that they are quoted as current figures.