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Venezuelan president may miss swearing in ceremony

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Venezuelan president may miss swearing in ceremony


The inauguration ceremony for Hugo Chavez to begin his third term as President of Venezuela may have to be moved.

Officials have confirmed the 58-year-old may not be well enough to make the January 10 date as he recovers from his fourth operation in 18 months in Cuba. Few details have been released on his condition and his chosen successor, Vice-President Nicolas Maduro, revealed the president has left instructions of what to do should he not recover.

“Day by day, Commander Chavez has been recovering and because of this we are focused on that happening and that he will recover. If he does not recover, he has left public instructions about what to do should other scenarios arise,” he said.

Prayers and religious services for the president have become a regular part of life in Venezuela. There are conflicting interpretations of what could happen if he fails to make the January date with one member of the ruling Socialist Party suggesting the Supreme Court would have to make a ruling on any postponement.

Opposition leaders have condemned such a move saying it is sign the Socialist Party could fiddle with succession rules.

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