Print options

January 08, 2013

Officials: Chavez Unable to Take Presidential Oath Thursday

by VOA News

Venezuelan officials say ailing President Hugo Chavez will miss Thursday's inauguration for a third term, and will remain in Cuba for cancer treatment.

National Assembly Speaker Diosdado Cabello read a letter to lawmakers Tuesday, saying doctors recommend that Chavez not head home. Cabello said the president will be sworn in by the Supreme Court at a later date.

The opposition in Venezuela argues that the president's inability to take the oath of office on the constitutionally mandated day of January 10 legally requires him to step down. But some legal experts insist the constitution allows the Supreme Court to swear in the president without mentioning a specific date.

The government has called on Chavez supporters to take to the streets Thursday as part of a massive show of support

Chavez has not been seen in public for almost a month. His exact condition and what kind of cancer he has is unclear.

Venezuela's information minister said Monday that Chavez has a lung infection connected to his cancer treatment and that his condition is stable.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.