Mexico City, Jan 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez could be sworn in at a later date if he fails to take the oath of office Jan 10 at the National Assembly, vice president Nicolas Maduro said.
Maduro said the 58-year-old Chavez, as a re-elected president, can begin his new six-year term in office Thursday and can attend a swearing-in ceremony in the Supreme Court if necessary at a date to be determined.
"The formality of his swearing-in can be resolved in the Supreme Court," Maduro said.
Chavez, who has ruled Venezuela for 13 years, underwent four operations for cancer and four courses of chemotherapy in Cuba and Venezuela within a year. He underwent his fourth surgery to remove cancerous tissue in Cuba Dec 11.
According to the latest official reports, Chavez is being treated for "respiratory deficiency" after complications from a severe lung infection.
Venezuelan opposition leader Antonio Ledezma said earlier a special delegation should be sent to visit Chavez in Cuba to get first-hand information of his health.
Venezuela's constitution requires that new presidential elections be held within 30 days, if Chavez is not fit enough to be sworn in.