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Venezuela's Lawmakers OK Chavez Request for Law by Decree

A demonstrator holds up a poster that reads in Spanish 'We don't want a dictatorship' during a demonstration outside the National Assembly building in Caracas, Venezuela, after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez asked Congress Tuesday to grant him special p

Venezuela's National Assembly has voted to approve a request by President Hugo Chavez to allow him to enact laws by decree for one year.

Lawmakers voted in President Chavez's favor Tuesday following the first discussion on the proposal. Reports say a final vote on the controversial measure is expected later this week.

Vice President Elias Jaua made the request earlier in the day on behalf of the president. The measure was presented to the outgoing National Assembly, which is dominated by President Chavez's allies.