CARACAS: Venezuela's National Assembly re-elected the ruling party's Diosdado Cabello as speaker Saturday, in a display of unity as President Hugo Chavez battles cancer in Cuba.
With a show of hands, the Chavez-controlled assembly reaffirmed Cabello in the position in a closing of the ranks by the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela amid reports of an internal fight for power.
"We will never defraud the people and we will get on our knees to defend the proposal made by comandante Chavez, I swear it," Cabello said as he took the oath of office.
The ruling party used its majority to elect Chavistas to all the assembly's leadership positions, ignoring calls by the opposition to be represented in the leadership.
The vote came as it appeared almost certain that illness will prevent Chavez from being sworn in on January 10 to a new six-year term, and controversial moves by the government to clear the way for him to retain his powers anyway.