Venezuela congress set to grant Hugo Chavez decree power

Critics say it will give the president a blank check and undermine the upcoming opposition-heavy congress


Associated Press
December 18, 2010 1:19AM (UTC)

Venezuelan lawmakers are set to grant President Hugo Chavez broad powers to rule by decree, undermining the clout of a new congress that takes office next month with a bigger opposition bloc.

The leftist leader's opponents are condemning the plan as a power grab, saying the law will be a blank check for Chavez to rule without consulting lawmakers.

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Chavez has defended it, saying he will use the power to decree laws for one year to speed up the response to deadly floods and landslides.

The National Assembly began a final debate Friday on the law.

A new congress goes into session Jan. 5 with an opposition contingent large enough to hinder approval of some types of major legislation.


Associated Press

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