Parliament vote paves way to unlimited reelection of president

Venezuela's National Assembly agreed Wednesday on a bill allowing the president and other officials to seek an unlimited number of mandates provided it passes referendum. This would allow President Hugo Chavez to run for a third term in 2012.


AFP - The National Assembly Wednesday passed a constitutional amendment allowing unlimited re-election of the president and all other elected officials that must now be submitted to referendum within 30 days.

The measure is President Hugo Chavez's second attempt at seeking unlimited reelection. The constitution was amended one year after he was elected in 1998 to allow him to run for a second term in 2006.

A similar referendum was defeated in late 2007.

Chavez has already stated he intends running for a third six-year term in 2012 if he is allowed to legally.

Recently Chavez asked the no-term-limits measure be also extended to all other elected officials in Venezuela.

The amendment was passed after eight hours of debate by a show of hands in the National Assembly, which is stacked with members of Chavez' National Socialist Union Party (PSUV).

Only seven opposition members voted against the measure.

The constitutional amendment will now be presented to the National Election Board, which will convene a referendum likely for February 15.

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