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Venezuela court could decide on Chavez swearing-in

•  National News     updated  2012/12/25 23:16


The president of Venezuela's Supreme Court said Thursday that it could decide whether it's constitutional to postpone the date of ailing President Hugo Chavez's swearing-in as he recovers from cancer surgery in Cuba.

Supreme Court President Luisa Estella Morales also said the matter has not yet been brought before the court. Chavez is due to be sworn in for another six-year term on Jan. 10, but complications after his Dec. 11 surgery and his silence after the procedure have thrown into doubt whether he will be capable of taking the oath of office.

"At this time, there is no constitutional question to resolve," Morales said at a news conference. "When the matter is brought up, if it's brought up, then it will be the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice that will decide."

The justice's remarks came after National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello suggested on Tuesday that Chavez's inauguration could be postponed — a statement that has fed uncertainty about the his prospects of recovery.

Cabello defended the idea in a message Thursday on his Twitter account, saying: "I only expressed my opinion, of which I'm absolutely convinced since it's in line with our constitution."

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