Constitution does not provide for continuing presidential term
The term continuation in office is not included in the 350 articles of the Constitution of Venezuela
"President (Hugo Chávez) has been already elected by people's majority. He even has been sworn in and his term in office continues." In this way, Prosecutor General Cilia Flores endorsed her thesis that the re-elected Venezuelan president may continue to hold office even if, because of his serious health condition, he fails to attend his inauguration ceremony scheduled for January 10 under the Venezuelan Constitution.
Similarly, Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro used the term continuation in office to defend the idea that Chávez may continue holding office even though he has not taken office for his new presidential term.
Nonetheless, the Constitution of Venezuela, enacted in 1999, does not refer to continuation in office in any of its 350 articles. Moreover, it does not provide that an official may continue holding office upon the expiration of his/her term.
However, sources in the Constitutional Court of TSJ said the government's thesis may be endorsed by such court in the rulings it is to issue in response to two actions requesting construction of Article 231 of the Constitution.
Administrative continuation has been provided for in different legal instruments such as the Law on the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. However, the TSJ itself has ruled that the term continuation in office applies to government positions rather than individuals.
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
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