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Last Updated: Monday, 6 August 2007, 05:48 GMT 06:48 UK
Chavez seeks end to term limits
By James Ingham
BBC News, Caracas

Hugo Chavez - 18/07/2007
Chavez says he wants the people to decide how long he rules
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has confirmed that he will try to change the law to allow him to remain in power indefinitely.

Under the current constitution, Mr Chavez will have to leave office at the end of his term in 2012.

But he says he wants to remain in power for as long as Venezuelans continue to support him.

The constitution is under review and Mr Chavez is expected to make changes to cement in law his socialist revolution.

'People decide'

The details have so far been kept under wraps, but Mr Chavez has confirmed what many people expected - that he will be seeking to remain in power continuously.

"It will be the people who make the final decision about how long I stay," he said on his weekly TV show Hello President.

He said this is something that happens in many European and Asian countries and that it should not be seen as a threat.

But opponents disagree. They are concerned that this could lead to abuse of power.

The new constitution will be put before parliament within the next 10 days.

Later this year, there will be a referendum allowing Venezuelans to decide whether to accept the changes.


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