Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez swearing-in postponed

  • The Venezuelan National Assembly has approved a request by President Hugo Chavez to delay his inauguration for a new term in office, which was due to take place on Thursday.

    Chavez, 58, is currently in Cuba recovering from complications due to a severe lung infection developed after surgery.

    He had his fourth operation to treat cancer in Cuba on December 11 and later developed a respiratory infection.

    Legislators voted to give Chavez as much time as he needs to recover.

    Chavez has not been seen in public since having surgery in Havana.

    According to the government, the inauguration is simply a formality for an incumbent leader and can take place at a later date.

    However, the opposition argues that Chavez's current mandate expires on January 10 and has called on the Supreme Court to rule on the issue.

    The court has scheduled a news conference to take place later this afternoon.

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