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Maduro sworn in as Venezuela's acting president

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Maduro sworn in as Venezuela's acting president

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Venezuela’s former vice president Nicolas Maduro has become the country’s acting President following the death of Hugo Chavez on March 5.

Chavez’s chosen successor was sworn in at a ceremony just hours after the former leader’s state funeral on March 8.

Maduro is expected to call elections within the next 30 days.

He took the oath of office holding a copy of Venezuela’s constitution.

“I swear in the name of absolute loyalty to Commandante Hugo Chavez that we will fulfill this Bolivarian constitution with the tough hand of a people that is committed to be being free, I swear,” Maduro said.

But the main opposition coalition boycotted the ceremony.

Miranda State Governor Henrique Capriles called it “unconstitutional”, saying, “This is a completely false swearing in. Nobody elected Nicolas as president”.

Capriles, who lost out to Chavez in October’s presidential election, is considered likely to stand against Maduro in the upcoming vote.

Recent opinion polls have given Maduro a strong lead.