Hugo Chavez’s Incapacity Continues

Via the BBC:  Venezuela Vice-President Maduro ‘to give annual address’

Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolas Maduro will give the state of the nation speech as Hugo Chavez is still in Cuba after surgery, officials say.

Mr Maduro would appear before the National Assembly on Tuesday "in accordance with the constitution," Deputy Speaker Dario Vivas said.

President Chavez was due to be sworn in on 10 January for a fourth term.

The Supreme Court ruled he could take the oath at a later date, a view challenged by opposition figures.

However, the degree to which this is in conformity with the constitution is, well, doubtful.  Article 237 notes:

Within 10 days of the inauguration of the National Assembly, in routine session, the President of the Republic shall personally present, each year, to the Assembly a message in which they give account of the political, economic and administrative aspects of their administration during the previous year.


According to the constitution, if a president is permanently incapacitated, the speaker of the National Assembly should take over and elections called within 30 days.

If the absence is temporary, the vice-president assumes charge for a maximum of 180 days.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. walt moffett says:

    Why am I thinking about Franciso Franco and SNL when it was funny?