- The Washington Times - Monday, February 20, 2006


Chavez may seek more terms in office

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez, branded a destabilizing force in the region by the Bush administration, said Sunday he might seek a constitutional change to be allowed to seek re-election several times.

Mr. Chavez is seeking the one re-election allowed by the constitution on election day Dec. 3. “If there is no opposition candidate … I would consider signing a decree to hold a referendum asking, ‘Do you agree Chavez should be allowed to seek a new term in 2013?’ and let’s let the people decide,” he said in his weekly radio and TV broadcast.

Venezuela approved a new constitution in 1999 under which Mr. Chavez is eligible to seek another six-year term.


Shining Path figure killed in shootout

LIMA — Police killed a senior Shining Path leader during a weekend raid on a rebel stronghold in the central jungle, the government announced yesterday.

Hector Aponte, known as “Comrade Clay,” headed Shining Path rebel operations in the remote Alto Huallaga region and was fatally shot Sunday night after a police assault that lasted several hours, Interior Ministry Romulo Pizarro told reporters.

“He was a man responsible for many deaths,” Mr. Pizarro said. He added that two suspected rebels and a haul of weapons were also captured in the operation.


Election official flees after threats

PORT-AU-PRINCE — The head of Haiti’s electoral council fled the country after opponents threatened his life and burned down his farmhouse nearly two weeks after disputed elections, an official said yesterday.

Jacques Bernard, appointed three months ago to bring order to a council that was beset by organizational problems, may have traveled to Miami, said Michel Brunache, chief of staff for interim President Boniface Alexandre.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti said it didn’t know Mr. Bernard’s whereabouts.

Weekly notes …

Canada is prepared to send help for victims of Friday’s landslides on Leyte island that buried an entire village in the Philippines, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said late Saturday. He said Canada “stands ready to assist the government and the people of the Philippines.” … The Rolling Stones, minus Mick Jagger, arrived in Argentina Sunday on the next stop of their world tour after rocking before 1.2 million-plus people at Rio’s fabled Copacabana beach. Mr. Jagger decided to stay a bit longer in Rio to spend time with his son Lucas, who was born in 1999 to Brazilian television presenter Luciana Gimenez, a former model.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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