- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

CARACAS, VENEZUELA (AP) - President Hugo Chavez has appointed a member of his ruling party as the top authority in Venezuela’s capital.

Jacqueline Farias will assume most of the administrative responsibilities previously held by Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, who defeated a Chavez-backed candidate in November elections.

The new post held by Farias was created under legislation approved last week by the predominantly pro-Chavez National Assembly.

Ledezma has criticized the legislation as a new attempt by Venezuela’s socialist president to expand his power and weaken his opponents. The mayor plans to challenge the legislation through a referendum.

Chavez denies the law undermines Ledezma’s work.

Farias was appointed on Tuesday.

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