Venezuela's assembly approves Chavez's constitutional reforms

By
November 2, 2007 22:15

Venezuela's pro-government National Assembly overwhelmingly approved constitutional reforms on Friday that would greatly expand the power of President Hugo Chavez and permit him to run for re-election indefinitely. The 69 changes to Venezuela's Constitution now go to Venezuelan citizens for a single yes-no vote on Dec. 2. The proposed changes, Chavez's most radical move yet in his push to transform Venezuela into a socialist state, threaten to spur a new wave of political upheaval in this oil-rich South American country already deeply divided over Chavez's rule. The amendments would allow the government to expropriate private property without a court ruling and take total control over the Central Bank, create new types of property managed by cooperatives, and extend presidential terms from six to seven years while allowing Chavez to run again in 2012.


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