by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos, Founder & Publisher
March 8, 2013 (TSR) – Speaker of the Venezuelan National Assembly (AN), Diosdado Cabello, announced that on Friday March 8, at 7:00 pm local time (2330 GMT), there will be a special session of parliament in the Hall of Honor of the Military Academy of Venezuela, in Caracas, a few meters away from the remains of Chavez, Vice President Nicolas Maduro, 50, a former union leader will be sworn-in on Friday as ‘acting’ (caretaker) president, pursuant to Article 233 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (spanish).
The ‘Bolivarian’ constitution stipulates a poll must be called within 30 days, but politicians say election authorities may not be ready in time and there is talk of a possible delay as reported by Mercopress.
“The Constitution requires us to perform a number of activities within this scenario, which is unwanted by any of us, however, to fill the void of President Chavez, we must do what the Constitution says (…)
Cabello added Maduro shall call a new election to choose the next head of state, “Faced with this situation and as the Constitution provides, is to swear in Nicolas Maduro … to call for elections as appropriated, within 30 days … follow the path of democracy, and above all comply with what Chávez ordered.”
“It is essential for us that this revolution goes forward to meet the instructions of the Commander Hugo Chávez, and what is required by the Nation’s Program,” he said.
According to the Article 233 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in the absence of the President during the first four years of the constitutional term, a new and direct universal election must take place within 30 consecutive days. Pending election and inauguration of the new President, the Executive Vice President will be held responsible for the Presidency of the Republic.
Luisa Ortega Diaz, Attorney General’s Office, confirmed in an interview which was broadcasted by Venezolana de Television, that the National Assembly Friday decision to swear in Maduro complies with the provisions of the Bolivarian Republic’s Constitution.
“Article 233 expressly states that when there is the absence of the President, the Vice President will take office. Already a judgment of the Supreme Court of Justice interpreted Article 233 and said that President Hugo Chavez was in performance of their duties,” Ortega Díaz noted.
Furthermore, the Attorney General’s Office stated: “as we have a situation where there is the death of President Hugo Chavez, according to the Constitution and adherence to the judgment of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, the Vice-President, in Nicolas Maduro this case, assumes the charge as president. ”
The Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Official English Version
Below is the full official English text of that Constitutional paragraph that mandates the swearing in taken from the above document. Note: The critical phrase that has been talked about is the Spanish phrase ‘falta absoluta’ which means “permanently unavailable”.
Article 233. The President of the Republic shall become permanently unavailable to serve by reason of any of the following events:death; resignation; removal from office by decision of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice; permanent physical or mental disability certified by a medical board designated by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice with the approval of the National Assembly; abandonment of his position, duly declared by the National Assembly; and recall by popular vote.
When an elected President becomes permanently unavailable toserve prior to his inauguration, a new election by universal suffrage and direct ballot shall be held within 30 consecutive days. Pending election and inauguration of the new President, the President of the National Assembly shall take charge of the Presidency of the Republic.
When the President of the Republic becomes permanently unavailable to serve during the first four years of this constitutional term of office, a new election by universal suffrage and direct ballot shall beheld within 30 consecutive days. Pending election and inauguration of the new President, the Executive Vice-President shall take charge of the Presidency of the Republic.
In the cases describes above, the new President shall complete the current constitutional term of office. If the President becomes permanently unavailable to serve during the last two years of his constitutional term of office, the Executive Vice-President shall take over the Presidency of the Republic until such term is completed.
Members of the opposition have kept a low profile and offered condolences during the enormous show of support for Chavez, one of Latin America’s most popular leaders.
State media have been airing old Chavez speeches and songs over and over in lengthy tributes. Foreign Minister Elias Jaua urged private Venezuelan media outlets to let “Chavistas” mourn and refrain from provoking opponents to hold rallies against the government.