Ailing Chavez unable to attend swearing-in

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A Venezuelan embassy worker holds up a framed image of Venezuela's ailing President Hugo Chavez during the monthly Catholic service devoted to the sick at the Church of Our Lady of Regla, in Regla, across the bay from Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. Venezuela's government said Monday, Chavez is in a "stable situation" in a Cuban hospital receiving treatment due to a severe respiratory infection. The update came as other government officials reiterated their stance that the president need not be sworn in for a new term as scheduled this Thursday and could instead have his inauguration at a later date. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's National Assembly has approved a plan for President Hugo Chavez not to attend his scheduled inauguration this Thursday and to instead be sworn in later on before the Supreme Court.

Chavez's congressional allies hold a majority of seats in the National Assembly, and they backed the proposal with a show of hands.

The country's opposition lawmakers on Tuesday strongly criticized the action to put off the swearing-in. They argued it violates the country's constitution.