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Party weighs unlimited Chavez rule.

11/25/2008 5:26:31 AM

Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, has said that his party could seek to amend the constitution to provide unlimited presidential rule.

The assertion on Monday came after opposition parties made gains in state and local elections against Chavez's party, which could potentially hamper the plans.

The opposition won five of 22 states in elections on Sunday, including Miranda and Zuila, the two biggest, and mayoral elections in the two largest cities.

"It's the people's right [to decide on the issue]," he said.

"We will see if the people use this right, and if all the country approves it or not, if there is a referendum."

Chavez lost a referendum last year on extending presidential term limits.

He is barred from making another attempt at changing the law, but his supporters could make a petition for a new referendum instead.

"I've said I'm not going to introduce or ask for any constitutional reform regarding presidential re-election," he said.

"What I can't avoid is if someone else does it."

Election setback

A change in the law could see Chavez break the current two-term limit for presidents and re-run for office in 2012.

Chavez first took power nearly 10 years ago. His second six-year term is set to expire in 2013.

His support has recovered since losing the 2007 referendum that would have allowed him to handpick local leaders and shelve civil liberties under extended states of emergency, as well as permit him to seek re-election indefinitely.

Chavez is promising to accelerate his "Bolivarian socialist project", purported as a progressive construction of state power during the succeeding years of his presidency. 2003 - 2008

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Date:Dec 1, 2008
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