Crowds of supporters of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez have been rallying outside the presidential palace in Caracas, showing their backing for the cancer-stricken leader on the day he was due to be inaugurated for another term.
Supporters wearing red “I am Chavez” T-shirts waved flags as patriotic music blared from speakers.
The swearing-in ceremony has been indefinitely postponed.
Hugo Chavez, 58, is in hospital in Cuba after undergoing cancer surgery.
The National Assembly on Wednesday voted to give the ailing leader as much time as he needed to recover.
Supreme Court President Luisa Estella Morales said Hugo Chavez could take the oath of office at a later date, adding that Chavez’s re-election had guaranteed “continuity” in government.
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said the uncertainties thrown up by President Chavez’s absence had not been ended by the court ruling, but he called on his supporters to refrain from taking to the streets in protest at the court’s ruling.
Henrique Capriles said the Supreme Court Justices had got involved in party politics by taking their “decision to solve the governing party’s problem”.