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Venezuela lawmakers elect Chavez ally as Assembly chief


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Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro (L) listens to National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello speak during the assembly inauguration in Caracas January 5, 2013. Venezuelan lawmakers re-elected a staunch ally of Hugo Chavez to head the National Assembly on Saturday, putting him in line to be caretaker president if the socialist leader does not recover from cancer surgery. By choosing the incumbent, Cabello, the ''Chavista''-dominated legislature cemented the combative ex-soldier's position as the third most powerful figure in the government, after Chavez and Vice President Maduro. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins