Don't count him out yet. Venezuela’s vice president, Nicolas Maduro, said in an interview Friday that if President Hugo Chavez isn't well enough to take the oath of office on Jan. 10, he can be sworn in later by the Supreme Court, according to the country’s constitution. Opposition leaders were hoping new elections would be called if Chavez could not take the office, but Maduro says since the president is already in power, he can remain and take the oath later. Under the Constitution, a new election will only be held if the president is unable to take the oath, or dies during his first four years in office. On Thursday, Venezuelan officials revealed that Chávez is suffering from a “severe” respiratory infection after undergoing his fourth surgery in the past year and a half.
STAYING PUT Francisco Batista/Miraflores Press Office, via AP