Tens of thousands of supporters of President Hugo Chavez's socialist administration are expected on the streets of Venezuelan capital Caracas tomorrow to show their support for the legitimacy of his government.
MPs voted on Tuesday to back a delay to Mr Chavez's re-inauguration while the recently re-elected leader continues his recuperation from cancer treatment and a subsequent medical emergency in Cuba.
They agreed that the constitutional formality could take place before the Supreme Court at a later date.
Vice-President Nicolas Maduro officially acknowledged Mr Chavez's inability to attend the ceremony in a letter to National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello.
"The president has asked that I inform you that, according to the recommendations made by the medical team that is watching over his health, the process of post-operation recovery should be extended beyond 10 January of the current year," wrote Mr Maduro.
"For this reason he won't be able to appear on that date before the national assembly.
"This constitutes an irrefutable supervening reason to invoke article 231 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in order to formalise, at a later date, the corresponding swearing-in before the Supreme Court," the letter continued.
The proposal for the ceremony to take place at a later date in front of top judges was overwhelmingly approved by MPs.
But during the national assembly debate on the issue opposition representatives, dominated by the wealthy interest groups which have lost power and influence since Mr Chavez was first elected in 1999, continued to push for the his removal and fresh elections.
The president's recent illness has emboldened the often divided and recently defeated opponents to his reforming government which has channelled the country's oil wealth away from a small minority and ploughed it into a string of social programmes to benefit the majority of the population.
Today's street protests are an attempt to warn the opposition against trying to overturn November's election results.
Mr Cabello said that the right-wing MUD, whose candidate Henry Capriles gained 44 per cent - 11 points behind Mr Chavez - had been using social networks to call a "civic strike" beginning tomorrow.
Past attempts to oust the socialist administration have included a foiled 2002 coup attempt and co-ordinated lockouts by bosses.
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