Venezuela Grants New Powers to Vice-President

The 15 new powers are interpreted as a mandate for improving efficiency in government and resolving the country’s deep economic crisis.

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (R) and Vice-President Tarek El Aissami. (Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images)
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (R) and Vice-President Tarek El Aissami. (Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images)
By Lucas Koerner
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Caracas, January 31, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed an executive order last week delegating fifteen new responsibilities to Vice-President Tarek El Aissami in what has been interpreted as a mandate for improving efficiency in government and resolving the country’s deep economic crisis.

Published on Monday, the decree will permit El Aissami to approve budgets for ministries and other government agencies as well as appoint vice-ministers and executive staff for state enterprises. 

The executive vice-president will additionally be empowered to create and dissolve government agencies and issue expropriation orders of private property, pending prior presidential approval.

On the economic front, El Aissami now has the authority to grant total or partial exemptions for both national sales taxes on certain goods as well as for income taxes applied to private firms in strategic sectors of the economy.

The decree also specifies that the vice-president must present a monthly account of all actions executed, which will be published in the National Gazette and subject to review by the president.

Under Article 238 of Venezuela’s constitution, the vice-president is allowed to “exercise the powers delegated to him or her by the President of the Republic”.