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
"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.
That political protest in Venezuela has lost momentum seems pretty obvious: people are no longer building barricades to block off streets near Plaza Francia in Altamira (eastern Caracas), an anti-government stronghold; no new images have been shown of brave and dashing protesters with bandanna-covered faces clashing with the National Guard in San Cristóbal, in the western state of Táchira; and those who dreamed of a horde of "Gochos" (Tachirans) descending in an avalanche to stir up revolt in Caracas have been left with no option but to wake up to reality.