July 19, 2004

Almost 4 & 1/2 Million People able to Vote

MABB is a registered TM. 

According to statistical projections for the year 2004 from the National Statistical institute (INE, Spanish acronym), there were 5,097,222 adults, 18 and over, able to vote in the referendum. From those, the National Electoral Court (CNE, Spanish acronym) said that 4,455,090 people were eligible to cast a vote on yesterday's referendum. The rest 642,132 people are not registered in the books and thus cannot participate.
The president of CNE, Hassenteufel (what a name!) said that in 2001, approximately 9.58% of the population were not officially registered and lacked identification. This meant about 900 thousand people were illegal in Bolivia. Unfortunately, they do not have numbers for 2004 available. 

In the mean time, it looks like the 4 1/2 million people able to vote (at least the ones who voted), voted for the "Si". The newspaper La Razon reports that with 90% of the electoral tables reporting, the "Si" won a decisive victory. Questions 1, 2 and 3, got between 86% and 92% of the vote. Whereas questions 4 and 5, got 57% and 64% respectively. The abstention rate is projected to be 40%, while null and blank votes are 12% and 10% respectively.
This means that Bolivians want the abrogation of the Hydrocarbons Law, passed during Sanchez de Lozada's presidency; the recovery of the Gas ownership and the financial strengthening of YPFB (the Bolivian oil company).
As for the proposition of using the gas reserves as a diplomatic leverage (Gas diplomacy) to recover sea access, it did not do well. Apparently, Bolivians do not think this is a good policy. Hm! I would have thought this question would have done a lot better than it has.
Mesa Happy
Mesa must be happy!

Come again? which finger is he holding up?  Ah! :-)