Venezuela is experiencing internal turmoil as debate rages on the possibility of President Chavez dying in the near future.  Chavez is currently receiving treatment for an undisclosed type of cancer in Havana  Cuba, but he has recently suffered complications. Having just been reelected to the presidency a few months ago and with his inauguration coming up in just a few days, CNN analysts have put together four different scenarios if Chavez dies in the coming weeks. If lawmakers declare Chavez permanently absent from office or he dies before January 10:
VP Nicolas Maduro would finish out the Chavez term ending next week. Then the head of Venezuela's National Assembly would assume the presidency. New elections have to be held within 30 days.
If Chavez is sworn in on January 10, but later dies or his illness forces lawmakers to declare him permanently absent from office:
The vice president assumes the presidency. New elections have to be held within 30 days.
If Chavez is unable to be sworn in before lawmakers on January 10:
Instead of taking the oath of office before the National Assembly, the constitution says Chavez can be sworn in before the country's Supreme Court. However, the wording of the constitution has opened an internal debate. Does an inauguration before the Supreme Court have to happen on January 10? Does it have to be in Venezuela? Who runs the country in the meantime?
The constitution isn't very clear about whether a swearing-in ceremony before the Supreme Court must take place on January 10.
If lawmakers declare Chavez temporarily absent from office:
Another official will assume the presidency for up to 90 days. Lawmakers can renew that for another 90 days. That means if lawmakers choose to declare Chavez temporarily absent, it can buy up to 180 days before they must decide whether Chavez is unable to rule.

One of the major factors in all of this is that the government has not released what kind of cancer Chavez actually has, making the prognosis much more difficult.

Gabriella Pittaluga
2/21/2013 10:07:56 am

It seems to be only a matter of time until Chavez passes away. Interestingly enough, in the DR I heard that he has cancer in his hip (could be wrong). But the Venezuelan constitution is vague. And the government hasn't really been following protocol. I heard the the chairman of the senate may be his successor. The Vice President (I heard) isn't necessarily going to succeed Chavez. The situation is tense. I'm not entirely familiar with all the particularities of this situation but it'll be something to listen for.


Leave a Reply.