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Sunday, 23 January 2011

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Venezuela's Chavez may end party leadership

CARACAS, Jan 22, AFP

President Hugo Chavez suggested Friday that he was too busy to continue being head of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the country's main leftist force. Chavez was ratified just last week as head of the PSUV, a group that formed when several leftist political groups merged in 2007. "I am president of the republic, I am head of state, head of government, head of the army... it's only an idea, I'll leave it up to you to debate the issue," Chavez said at a meeting with party leaders. "In the meantime I will go on to be a party foot soldier." The firebrand leftist leader said "those of us who are in positions of local and national power should not be leading the party, and I should set the example."

At the party event, Chavez also reiterated that he would run for a third consecutive term in the 2012 presidential election.

"If I have life and health, I am certain that we are going to win...

the 2012 presidential elections and that battle has already begun," Chavez said.

Chavez, 56, was elected president in 1998, and re-elected twice for six-year terms under Venezuela's 2000 constitution. The constitution was later amended to allow unlimited presidential reelection.

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