Chavez seeks decree powers for 1 year

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has asked congress to grant him special power to enact laws by decree for a year.

The measure would give the president the ability to bypass the National Assembly, which will have a larger opposition contingent after new lawmakers take office in January. The outgoing legislature is expected to approve it.

Vice President Elias Jaua made the formal request on Tuesday, saying Chavez is seeks the authorization for 12 months to ensure fast-track approval of laws aimed at helping the nation recover from severe flooding and mudslides.

Chavez's opponents accuse him of using the disaster to impose socialist-inspired measures and undermine the power of new opposition lawmakers.

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