May 12, 2005

Bolivia: And the Uncertainty Continues

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At the rate of 1,7 million dollars a day, Bolivia is losing money every day the Hydrocarbons law is not signed. Adding insult to injury, president Mesa is not ready to give up fight and sign the new law Congress passed last week. Mr. Mesa has instead called for a national summit for unity (Encuentro por la Unidad Nacional). In this meeting, which will be on Monday, May 16 in Sucre, Mr. Mesa wants to consult the Bolivian people about the new law, among other things.

Meanwhile, Congress has already repudiated such summit because it sees it as bypassing the legislative to the point of making it irrelevant. At the same time, the legislative has observed that while the new law is being considered and debated and the President's observations are taken into account, the law in the books is still relevant by order of Congress. In my opinion, this is a mechanism to pressure the executive into signing the law, because the law in the books was passed under the watch of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.

In summary, we can say, with certainty, that "uncertainty" is the only constant in Bolivian politics, at the moment. The president's summit is already in danger because of the decision of various organizations not to attend. Organizations like the Civic Committee Santa Cruz, MIP and perhaps Evo's MAS have already expressed either doubts or outright rejection for the summit. These actions will only serve to take legitimacy away from the national meeting.

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