May 11, 2005

Uncertainty Lingers On

MABB © ®

President Mesa has defied the odds and came up with, yet another possible outcome to yesterday's uncertainty. He has managed to give back the "time bomb" to Congress. Mesa, after analyzing his options for some days, has used Article 76, paragraph I of the Constitution to send back to Congress the unwanted law.

According to article 76, the president has 10 days after receiving the law to "observe" it. Mesa has observed it and decided to send it back to the Chamber of Deputies, where the law originated. Mesa's move amounts to a veto of the law. Now, Congress, both the lower chamber and the Senate, have to come together in a joint session and debate the executive's observations. If they find merit in the observations, they can modify the law, vote on it and send it back to the president. On the other hand, if they find the observations without merit, Congress can override the veto with a 2/3 vote. In which case, the president is limited to promulgate the law.

Currently in congress, there is a force, comprised of MNR, MIR, NFR, ADN and UCS, that wants to pass this law once and for all, as I see it. If this is the case, Mesa will soon see himself signing the law, but he'll be able to de-link himself from the responsibility. Although, according to some of the trouble makers in El Alto, he is already considered part of the problem.