[The following venezuelanalysis article reports on last week's announcement by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that should he be reelected in December's presidential elections, he plans to convoke a recall referendum for himself in 2010 and, if reaffirmed, a referendum for indefinite reelections. --Ed]
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez waves to supporters in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Sept. 1, 2006, where thousands of supporters gave Chavez a hero's welcome home from his international tour. Credit: Leslie Mazoch/AP.
Chavez Announces Plans for Second Full Term at Welcome Home Rally
By Michael Fox & Gregory Wilpert - Venezuelanalysis.com
September 02, 2006
Caracas, Venezuela, September 1, 2006—Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was welcomed home from his international tour today by a sea of red. Thousands of supporters paraded with him from western Caracas to downtown Plaza O’Leary, where he announced the unleashing of the “Bolivarian Hurricane” and “reinitiated his presidential campaign” for this December’s presidential elections.
“Look at what’s at stake,” said Chavez, “that’s why I invite you to the union, to battle, throughout the country!”
During his multiple hour speech in the afternoon sun, Chavez touched on many issues, including his recent international tour, the United States, Christianity, the electoral campaign, and his plans for his second full term. He specifically highlighted agreements signed between Venezuela and China which among other things, could bring loans worth $1.5 billion to the South American country for the construction of hundreds of thousands of new homes.
Referendum for Indefinite Reelection
In one of the afternoon’s more surprising announcements, Chavez declared that if elected this December, he himself will call for a referendum in early 2010 to ask Venezuela’s voters if they want him to continue in office until 2012, when his second term would expire, and if approved, if they want to change the constitutions to allow for indefinite reelections of the president. Currently the constitution allows only two consecutive six-year terms for the office of president.
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