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Chavez Names Vice President Jaua Temporary Agriculture Minister

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Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appointed Vice President Elias Jaua as temporary agriculture minister while Juan Carlos Loyo receives medical treatment.

Jaua won’t be replaced as vice president until August when he starts his campaign for governor of Miranda state, Chavez said.

“I am going to assume tasks that I assigned to you, Jaua, when I became ill,” Chavez said today on state television during his weekly “Alo Presidente” program. “I am going to assume all of them while Jaua will be focused 99 percent on agricultural issues.” Chavez didn’t indicate the nature of Loyo’s medical treatment.

Chavez has said he will replace some members of his cabinet, including Jaua, in mid-2012 as the officials prepare to run for governorships in December elections. Chavez, who has ruled South America’s largest oil producer since 1999, will seek a third consecutive six-year term in presidential elections scheduled for October.

Chavez, who had two operations in June in Cuba to remove a cancerous tumor in his pelvic area, resumed normal activities at the start of the year following four rounds of chemotherapy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corina Rodriguez Pons in Caracas at crpons@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net.

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