Entries in Inauguration (4)


Ailing President Chavez Will Not Attend Inauguration Thursday 

RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won't be taking the oath for a fourth term in office on Thursday, his government officials have said.  The Venezuelan National Assembly approved the ailing president's request to postpone his inauguration, BBC News reports.

Mystery has lingered around the exact status of his condition in recent weeks.  President Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba on Dec. 11 for what the government of Venezuela described as a severe lung infection. He has not been seen in public since his operation.

According to several news sources, Chavez, who has undergone four cancer-related surgeries since June 2011, was put in an induced coma because of weak vital signs and remains on life support.

Meanwhile, family members of the socialist president maintain that Chavez is in stable condition and urged supporters not to believe any rumors.

While lawmakers voted to allow Chavez as much recovery time as he needs, Venezuela's opposition is calling the Supreme Court to rule on what steps to take in the president's absence at the inauguration, BBC reports.  Government officials say the ceremony is just a formality.

It is the opposition's hope, according to BBC, that President Chavez will be called absent so that Diosdado Cabello, chairman of the National Assembly, can be declared the interim president.

Already there are conspiracy theories that doctors are keeping Chavez alive so that Vice President Nicolas Maduro, who is more pro-Cuba than Cabello, will become the next president.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Twitter File Suggests Obama’s Inauguration More Fun Than Putin’s

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- A video on YouTube comparing President Obama’s inauguration with that of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s on Monday is making the rounds on Twitter in Russia. So far it has been viewed nearly 44,000 times since it was uploaded on Monday.

The six and half minute clip juxtaposes images of smiling, cheering Americans attending Obama’s Jan. 20, 2009 ceremony on the National Mall with the vacant streets of central Moscow as Putin’s motorcade drove silently to the Kremlin for his swearing in. Those streets had been cleared by police to prevent any protests along his route, but they also ensured the streets were devoid of cheering supporters as well.

While Obama is shown smiling and waving as they walked along the parade route to the White House, Putin’s face remains serious, almost dour, as he strides into the opulent hall where he took the oath of office with similarly unflinching stare. When Obama’s family is shown waving to the crowd, the video includes a shot of Putin’s wife, who is rarely seen in public, who appears to be swaying nervously. Obama, meanwhile, is seen swaying with his wife Michelle during their dance at one of the inaugural balls.

The video also pointedly splices in clips of this week’s police violence as Moscow riot police have cracked down on opposition demonstrators. On Monday they raided restaurants and cafes, even a McDonald’s, looking for potential protesters. Several people have been arrested throughout the week simply for wearing white ribbons, the symbol of the opposition, as they walked down the street.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Sweet Micky' Sworn in as President of Haiti

THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images(PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti) -- From pop star to the presidential office, that’s the journey Michel Martelly has travelled.

On Saturday, Martelly, 50, was sworn in as president of Haiti, a country still dealing with the devastation that resulted from the January, 2010 earthquake. Martelly, also known as “Sweet Micky,” was inaugurated in a ceremony held in front of the crumbled National Palace in Port-au-Prince. Among the guests at the ceremony was former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti.

During the ceremony there was a minor hiccup in the form of a power outage, however, the swearing-in was eventually able to take place with the presidential sash being placed on Martelly, and perhaps earning him the new nickname “President Micky,” which is his current Twitter moniker.

On April 4, it was announced that Martelly had defeated Mirlande Manigat in the race for president.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Afghan President Begrudgingly Inaugurates Parliament

Photo Courtesy - Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai inaugurated parliament Wednesday morning more than four months after a fraud-filled election, but did so begrudgingly and only after blaming the West for pushing the country to the verge of "chaos."

Karzai and his allies, upset at the outcome of the September election and worried about losing candidates responding violently, created repeated roadblocks to Wednesday's ceremony, including a special tribunal to investigate fraud that critics said was unconstitutional.

Karzai's actions caused some Western officials to question whether he was an adequate partner.  But Karzai blamed the political paralysis of the last few months on the United Nations and the international community, releasing a stinging rebuke that shows he continues to blame the West for his own political weakness and continues to tap into anti-Western sentiment to score political points.

"Some foreign countries started interfering and questioned [the creation of the special tribunal].  And they started to create chaos in the country, urging the candidates to inaugurate parliament even without the president's presence," Karzai said in a statement released a few hours before the inauguration.  "So in order to avoid foreign interference and in order to avoid chaos, I decided to meet with the winning candidates.  And I convinced them that even after we open parliament, they should accept the decision of the special tribunal."

Just because Afghanistan has a parliament for the first time in six months does not mean the political instability is over.  Karzai's office released statements from losing candidates in which one warned they would "go to the mountains and fight for our lost Afghanistan."  And the special tribunal is expected to try to unseat more than 30 candidates, according to a senior government official.  It's not clear if those candidates would hand over their seats without a fight.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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