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Venezuela: Court approves Chávez inauguration postponement

Well-known for lengthy speeches, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has been publicly silent for nearly a month. His inauguration, originally scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed. Critics are calling for new elections.  

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A mural of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez decorates a wall in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday. Venezuela's congress has voted to postpone the inauguration of President Hugo Chavez to let him recover from cancer surgery in Cuba.

AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

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Venezuela's top court endorsed the postponement of Hugo Chavez's inauguration this week and ruled on Wednesday that the cancer-stricken president and his deputy would continue in their roles, despite a cacophony of opposition complaints.

Critics had argued the 58-year-old's absence from his own swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 10 meant a caretaker president must be appointed. Chavez has not been seen in public nor heard from in almost a month following surgery in Cuba.

"Right now we cannot say when, how or where the president will be sworn in," Supreme Court Chief Judge Luisa Morales told a news conference.

 

"As president re-elect there is no interruption of performance of duties ... The inauguration can be carried out at a later date before the Supreme Court."

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