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Constitutional fight over Chavez status intensifies

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A constitutional fight over ailing President Hugo Chavez's status intensified on Tuesday with the government planning a massive show of support in the streets on the day he is supposed to be sworn in to a new term.

Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said late on Monday that Chavez's medical condition has remained "stationary" since the latest complication from surgery was reported four days ago.

Chavez, who underwent his fourth round of cancer surgery in Havana nearly a month ago, is suffering suffering from a severe pulmonary infection that has resulted in a respiratory insufficiency.

The call for a rally on January 10 outside the Miraflores presidential palace comes amid a stormy debate over whether Chavez and his current government can remain in office if he is too sick to take the oath of office.AFP



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