Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday asked congress to grant him special powers to enact laws by decree for one year, just before a new legislature takes office with a larger contingent of opposition lawmakers.Chavez's economic policies have brought about serious trouble for Venezuela, and the "reforms" will further undermine individual rights and protections. It's a power grab, using the natural disasters as a pretext.
The measure would give the president the ability to bypass the National Assembly for the fourth time since he was first elected almost 12 years ago.
Vice President Elias Jaua made the request on Chavez's behalf, saying the president will use the authorization to ensure fast-track approval of laws aimed at helping the nation recover from severe flooding and mudslides that left thousands homeless and in government shelters.
"The measures we have to take are deep. Almost 40 percent of the country was affected" by the heavy rains, Jaua said.
It is expected to win easy approval in the outgoing legislature dominated by Chavez allies.
Chavez's opponents accuse him of using the natural disaster to impose socialist-inspired measures and undermine the power of newly elected opposition lawmakers.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
[T]hugo Chavez Seeks Power To Rule By Decree Once Again
Venezuelan strongman [T]hugo Chavez is at it again. He's calling on the National Assembly to grant him more power than he would be allowed to wield by circumventing the incoming Assembly that is comprised of more opposition groups. Chavez claims the power is necessary to deal with a series of natural disasters and the ongoing economic malaise: