Hugo Chavez doesn’t have to attend: Venezuela Supreme Court
Newscast Media CARACAS—The Venezuela Supreme Court has ruled that Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez doesn’t have to attend the inauguration ceremony and can suspend it indefinitely, as he recovers from cancer.
Chavismo opponents argued that the president had lost legitimacy because of his inability to govern the country. However, the seven-member court rejected the argument in a ruling that said, “The oath-taking of the re-elected president can be carried out at a time after January 10 before the Supreme Court, if it is not done on the said day before the National Assembly,” the ruling said.
On Tuesday, Chavez’s deputy and appointed successor told parliament that the president would not be sworn in for a fourth term as planned Thursday, but would take the oath at a later date in the Supreme Court.
Court president Louisa Estella Morales said while reading the ruling that “we know and accept that the swearing-in of the head of state is necessary and will be carried out, but for the moment we do not know when, or where, or how it will be done.”
Morales also rejected opposition calls for a medical team to assess Chavez’s health, saying “there were no merits to convening a medical board at this time.”
Meanwhile, the government is planning a rally outside the presidential Miraflores Palace in Caracas in support of Chavez.
So far, Bolivian President Evo Morales, Uruagayan President Jose Mujica, Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, and the Foreign Ministers Hector Timerman of Argentina and Ricardo Patino of Ecuador have confirmed that they will attend the rally.