Venezuela: Chavez swearing-in can be delayed

Doing a Captain Louis Renault at the news, I am shocked, shocked!

[UPDATE: Venezuela’s Supreme Court said President Hugo Chávez doesn’t need to be sworn in to start his new six-year term.

Ms. Morales said there was no reason to declare the charismatic leader legally “incapacitated” and that ministers and the vice president could continue in their roles without disruption after Thursday, the Jan. 10 date specified by the constitution as the start of any new presidential term.

]Venezuela court: Chavez swearing-in can be delayed

Venezuela’s Supreme Court president said Wednesday that the upcoming inauguration of ailing President Hugo Chavez can legally be postponed.

Supreme Court President Luisa Estella Morales made the statement amid a heated debate between the government and opposition over whether the constitution requires the cancer-stricken leader to be sworn in for a new term on Thursday. The congress voted to delay the ceremony on Tuesday.

Morales announced her stance after the country’s opposition coalition said it would ask the court for an opinion on the National Assembly’s decision to postpone Chavez’s inauguration for a new term.

Why didn’t they decide this a week ago?

This is what the Constitution says,

Article 231: The president-elect shall take office on 10 January… by taking an oath before the National Assembly. If for any reason, (they) cannot be sworn in before the National Assembly, they shall take the oath of office before the Supreme Court.

Article 233: When an elected president becomes absolutely absent prior to inauguration, a new election… shall be held within 30 days… Pending (this), the president of the National Assembly will assume responsibility for the presidency of the Republic.

Article 234: When the president is temporarily unable to serve, they shall be replaced by the… vice-president for a period of up to 90 days, which may be extended by resolution of the National Assembly for an additional 90 days.

The opposition is outraged; for now Chavez is President For Life, whether in his mortal state or the hereafter remains to be ascertained. You may even have an eternal Weekend at Chavez.

The TSJ [Tribunal Supremo de Justicia’s] ruling is simple: there is no absence of Chavez temporal [sic] or absolute. Maduro remains on top, along with the Cubans, but don’t write off Cabello,

The ones that prevailed are those who wish a continued link to Cuba, a continued colonial imposition from the Castros. Only Maduro was reliable enough for that because his lackluster character would have forced him to depend too much on Cubans and the radical chavismo to stay in office. On the other hand Cabello can count on the military (or at least a large faction of them) and the bolibourgoise who are sensing that a little bit of economic freedom and less money sent to the Cuban vampire would actually improve their lot. A president Cabello could afford to send Cubans home and gain in the process (1).

In other words, the TSJ ruling of today means for all practical purposes that Maduro has scored his second point against Cabello, the first one being when Chavez designated him his heir last December (2). But fear not, it is not over for Cabello, this is kind of a major league contest, kind of best of 13…… With a “sudden death” at any time.

Undeniably, it’s a Supremely Convenient Interpretation in Caracastan, the capital of Cubazuela.


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6 Responses to “Venezuela: Chavez swearing-in can be delayed”

  1. fuster Says:

    Obviously, you’re ignoring that there’s only a Constitutional problem if the president-elect is permanently unable to take the oath or if he is temporarily unable……

    were you a brilliant legal mind as is Court President Luisa Estela Morales, you would be able to figure out that there’s no problem and that Chavez’s absence is acceptable because it is neither “temporary nor permanent”.

  2. Fausta Says:

    Impeccable Chavista logic, fuster!

  3. fuster Says:

    I don’t know whether to be more proud of that or of my skill in snaking out my tongue to catch flies.

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