After three and a half hours of waiting, the president of the Venezuelan Supreme Court Luisa Estela Morales has declared in a press conference that President Hugo Chavez can assume his term of office at a later date.
The Constitutional Chamber considers that Chavez’s health condition can not be considered a “temporary absence”. VP Maduro and the Cabinet can continue working, even if their term of office expires on January 10th, as the Constitution establishes.
She announced this decision in cadena nacional in base of an interpretation of Article 231, involving the inauguration of the President on January 10th. She also recognized the new extended permit given by the Chavista majority in the National Assembly last night.
The person who asked for the constitutional interpretation is someone named Marelys D’ Arpino. She’s a lawyer, a talk show host and a columnist of the Chavista newspaper Vea.
The big change tomorrow is that it won’t be any change and that is a big change in itself.
UPDATE: The TSJ’s decision is now available online. You can take a look right here. Luisa Estela wrote it herself and was unanimously approved by the chamber’s 7 justices.