Chavez just announced it. Lame-duck shmame-duck.
An Enabling Law (Ley Habilitante, in Spanish) would give Chávez special powers to rule by decree for a fixed period of time, effectively bypassing the incoming National Assembly.
Quico adds: Can’t resist throwing this in. If you were reading Caracas Chronicles back on January 25th, you could see this coming:
Personally, my guess is that [if chavistas lost the election], they’d give Chávez a sweeping Enabling Law, good for 60 months, enabling him to legislate by decree for the length of the legislative term. And then they’d vote away what oversight powers parliament still has, handing the opposition a hollowed out shell of a Capitolio.
Granted, back then, I saw it as something Chávez would do if he lost control of the Assembly after 26S – as it turns out, he’s doing it despite the 59-41% seat advantage he walked away with after his 52%-48% popular vote loss.
More Habilitante goodness from the archives – this time from 2007 – after the jump.
If approved, this Enabling Law will make Chávez a dictator. I don’t mean that in some fuzzy, propagandistic way, I mean it in the original Roman sense of the term: an official legally empowered to do anything he wants without being accountable to anyone. Hell, at least the Romans were frank enough to call their dictators dictators, and had the common sense to give them unlimited powers for 6 months only. Chávez? He wants three times that.