Hugo Chavez has won the first battle in a renewed bid to remain Venezuela’s president.
The country’s parliament has approved amendments to the constitution that could allow him to run for re-election indefinitely. It is the final step before the proposal goes before voters in a referendum. Lawmakers allied with Chavez, who holds a strong majority in the 167-seat assembly, overwhelmingly backed the measure lifting term limits for all elected officials. But as the national assembly debated, hundreds of students gathered in various places across the capital, Caracas, to protest against the proposed referendum. Riot police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators. It is the veteran socialist leader’s second bid to amend the charter to run for office again. Election officials have yet to set a date for the referendum.