Hugo Chavez

Chavez Swearing-In May Be Delayed

No hint that they'll try to prop up his corpse to take the oath of office

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Venezuela's vice president said Friday that President Hugo Chavez could be sworn in by the Supreme Court later on if he's not able to take the oath of office next week before lawmakers because of his struggle with cancer.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro made the comment in a televised interview on Friday night, dismissing the argument by some opposition leaders that new elections must be called if Chavez doesn't take office as scheduled on Thursday.

Maduro says Chavez, as a re-elected president, remains in office beyond the swearing-in date stipulated in the constitution, and could be sworn in if necessary before the Supreme Court at a date to be determined.