Nicolas Maduro sworn in as Venezuela's acting president


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez named Vice President Nicolas Maduro as his successor, in the instance that Chavez's failing health forces him out of office.



Venezuela's former vice-president Nicolas Maduro has been sworn in as acting president just hours after the funeral of Hugo Chavez.

"We still have him in our hearts," Maduro, who was wearing a sash bearing the colors of the Venezuelan flag across his chest, said of Chavez, according to CNN. "I have him here, here, as if he was the name in my soul, because I am his son.

"We are here to guarantee peace, safety and political stability and the lifting up of the poor in Venezuela will continue. Onward and upward with socialism!"

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The swearing-in ceremony was led by National Assembly Speaker Diosdado Cabello in Caracas, reported BBC News. But the main opposition coalition boycotted Maduro's ceremony, calling it unconstitutional. It argued that the speaker of the National Assembly should take over as acting president, as the constitution says, not the vice-president, who Chavez had named as his successor.

Maduro has also been chosen as the presidential candidate for Chavez's socialist party when an election is called in 30 days.

According to the Associated Press, opposition leader Henrique Capriles accused Maduro of using Chavez's funeral to campaign, which violates the constitution. Capriles is also expected to run for president of Venezuela.