Chavez names new vice president in Venezuela
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez named a new vice president on Wednesday, choosing his longtime foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro.
Chavez made the announcement at an event where he was declared the winner of Sunday's presidential election. He called for a round of applause for his outgoing vice president, Elias Jaua, who has held the post since 2010.
Maduro has been Venezuela's top diplomat since 2006, and his prominence at government events in recent months had generated speculation that Chavez might choose him as his next vice president.
Chavez's recent struggle with cancer has also led to questions about whom he could choose as a successor if his illness were to worsen. But Chavez said in June, after a year of cancer treatment that included surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, that tests had found he was cancer-free.
Chavez's next six-year term begins in January. He's expected to start making other changes in Cabinet posts while naming allies to run for gubernatorial posts in state elections on Dec. 16.
Jaua is to run for governor in Miranda state, which includes part of Caracas, the capital.
Chavez said his next term would bring more progress in moving toward a socialist system in Venezuela. He said it's time for a "renewal in the socialist project" and called for his government to become more efficient in solving problems.
"Many things must be corrected," Chavez said.