Chavez Proposal Clears Way for Lifelong Presidency

Amendment would wipe out term limits
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2007 3:06 AM CDT
A general view of the Venezuela's National Assembly is seen as Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez delivers a speech at the National Assembly in Caracas, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007. Chavez presented his...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 6 more images

(Newser) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has made a power grab toward a president-for-life position, packaging a proposal granting him unlimited terms with a measure to cap the workday at six hours. The constitutional amendment would extend terms from six to seven years and remove the two-term limit that would otherwise force Chavez to step down in 2012.

The revisions would also grant Chavez increased power over local governments and would give the federal government greater control over private company assets. The National Assembly is expected to approve the proposals within months. The plan would then be voted on in a national referendum. Chavez pushed through a new constitution in 1999.