CARACAS, Friday January 04, 2013 | Update

VP Nicolás Maduro: Chávez's swearing-in can be adjourned

Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolás Maduro said President Hugo Chávez's new term in office begins next January 10, and if he cannot appear at the National Assembly for his swearing-in ceremony, he could be sworn in before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) later

Maduro was interviewed by Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas (Photo: AFP)
Friday January 04, 2013  10:53 PM
Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro late on Friday said that there are no grounds to declare the complete absence of President Hugo Chavez if he fails to appear next January 10 at the National Assembly for his swearing-in for a new term in office.

"None of the conditions set out in Article 233 applies right now. There is no complete absence," Maduro said in an interview with state-run television network Venezolana de Television (VTV).

Maduro said Chávez's new term in office will start on January 10 and if he cannot be sworn in before the National Assembly on that date, he can be sworn in before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) later.

"The Constitution provides that he (Chávez) (...) has to be sworn in before the National Assembly on January 10, but precisely on January 10 the new constitutional term begins and he continues in office. The moment when he will be able to take an oath before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice will be established later," added Maduro.

According to the vice-president, Article 231 of the Constitution provides for "a dynamic flexibility."

Maduro reiterated that Venezuelan people have a responsibility to advocate the ideas and principles enshrined in the Constitution.

"The path of our fatherland was set by our people in the Constitution of 1999," he said in an interview with journalist and Minister of Communication and Information Ernesto Villegas.

He said the right-wing parties intend to use President Hugo Chavez's health problems in order to misconstrue the Constitution.
Gagging Twitter users

Pablo Jiménez Guaricuco was summarily dismissed from his Clerk III job at the Autonomous Service of Public Registries and Notaries' Offices (Saren). He read a notice published in a newspaper on November 5 informing the public that he was no longer employed to the Saren. He was sacked despite the fact that he was taking a leave of absence from work due to a work-related accident, and that he enjoyed security of employment under the parental job-immunity privilege. Most probably, the decision was influenced by his role as a union organizer. But what did he do, besides leading protests, to deserve the sack? Well, he allegedly sent off a series of tweets that definitely hurt the sensitivity of the Saren Directorate.

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