President Hugo Chavez Has Died: What Next?

A mural of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez who died today. He was 58. (Google Images)

A mural of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez who died today. He was 58. (Google Images)

The New York Times, CNN and Washington Post are reporting that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died. What does that mean for Venezuela?

According to Adam Taylor of The Business Insider, an election must be held within 30 days. Citing Sean Burges, a senior associate in the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies at the Australian National University, Taylor reports that an election will have to be held within 30 days of Chavez’s death according to Article 323 of the Venezuelan constitution. This means that Vice-President Nicolás Manduro, who announced Chavez’s death, will serve as president until the actual election. Taylor writes:

“If Manduro chooses to contest the election, it seems likely he would face opposition leader Henrique Capriles, a young, charismatic politician received 46 percent of the vote when he competed against Chavez in October. Many suspect, however, that Diosdado Cabello, speaker in Venezuela’s congress and a hardline Chavez ally, may make a run for the presidency, forcing Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela into conflict with itself.”

Many are worried about the stability of the country if conflict breaks out over the next leader, especially within Chavez’s political party.

Read more at The Business Insider. View The Burton Wire‘s Photo Gallery of President Chavez here.

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