Chavez able to take office on scheduled: Venezuelan VP

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-12-20 17:48:01

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday that President Hugo Chavez, recovering from cancer surgery, should be fit to be sworn in for a new term on January 10 as scheduled.

Chavez was steadily recovering after the surgery in Cuba, Maduro said in a statement, adding all the official announcements issued so far about his health condition were completely true.

"Right now, we are focused on praying and maintaining our faith ... so that our commander in chief and president can fulfill his sacred duty of being sworn in for a new term on Jan. 10," the vice president said.

National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello told reporters the same day that, in view of Chavez's current health, it's his personal view that the possibility of changing the inauguration date could not be ruled out.

Opposition leaders immediately slammed Caballo's comments as a sign the ruling Socialist Party could fiddle with succession rules to accommodate the president's recovery.

Venezuela's Constitution rules that elections are to be called in 30 days if the president becomes incapacitated.

Chavez, 58, was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago and had a fourth round of surgery in Cuba's capital earlier this month.

He won the October 7 presidential election with 55 percent of the vote and is due to start his third six-year mandate on January 10.

Before leaving for Cuba, he named Maduro to be his successor in case he could not fulfill his leadership responsibilities, and asked Venezuelans to vote for Maduro to succeed him as president under such a circumstance.

Posted in: Americas

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