Row over inauguration delay8 January 2013
The president of the Venezuelan bishops' conference, Bishop Diego Padron said it would be "morally unacceptable" for President Hugo Chavez not to attend his inauguration on 10 January, leaving the nation potentially leaderless.
Chavez, 58, is in Cuba after a fourth operation against cancer and is believed to be seriously ill.
"It is not our job to intervene publicly, but in this case the good of the country and the defence of ethics are at stake," said Bishop Padron. "To alter the constitution to attain a political objective is morally unacceptable," he said.
According to the constitution, an election would be triggered when the president is unable to perform his duties.
However Attorney-General Cilia Flores said the inauguration may take place later.
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