Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is asking the National Assembly to grant him special powers over the country's electrical and telecommunications industries.

In a televised speech, Mr. Chavez said he would nationalize some electricial companies and the country's largest telecommunications company, CANTV.

The leftist leader promised to take a more radical turn toward socialism after he was re-elected by a wide margin last month.

He will begin a second six-year term as president on Wednesday.

Mr. Chavez has said he hopes to merge all the political parties supporting him into one party. He also wants to re-write the constitution.