Ailing Chavez Unable to Attend Swearing-In

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

FILE - In this Oct 9, 2012 file photo, Venezuela�s President Hugo Chavez holds a miniature copy of his country's constitution during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela. The ailing president's health crisis has raised contentious questions ahead of the swearing-in set for Jan. 10, including whether the inauguration could legally be postponed. Officials have raised the possibility that Chavez might not be well enough to take the oath of office, without saying what will happen if he can't. The constitution says that if a president or president-elect dies or is declared unable to continue in office, presidential powers should be held temporarily by the president of the National Assembly and that a new presidential vote should be held within 30 days. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's National Assembly has approved a plan for President Hugo Chavez not to attend his scheduled inauguration this Thursday and to instead be sworn in later on before the Supreme Court.
Chavez's congressional allies hold a majority of seats in the National Assembly, and they backed the proposal with a show of hands.
The country's opposition lawmakers on Tuesday strongly criticized the action to put off the swearing-in. They argued it violates the country's constitution.

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