March 05, 2007

Bolivian Constituent Assembly: The First Debates

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It was on February 28, when the debate over the new constitution for Bolivia began. This first session accorded the organizational aspects and gave some initial space for the different parties to give a short introduction mentioning the most important aspects of their proposals on the future form of the Bolivian State.

The most important topics, concepts and principles mentioned included the autonomy issue, specially the results of the 2005 referendum. However, other parties called for indigenous autonomy as a way to reorganize the state. There were calls for creating a multinational state, recognizing the 36 different nationalities currently making up Bolivia, as well as their customs and rights. There were calls to change the social class system in society, to make the state the most important player in development, the creation of a fourth social government branch, the inclusion of the principle of solidarity, peace, order and the rule of law, and a parliamentary system. At the same time, it was said that the rights of the indigenous peoples had to be recognized, once and for all. Other proposals touched the issue of the legal capital of Bolivia, Sucre. And lastly, there were opinions saying that the state should be a communal state.

Subsequently, the assembly set the order of full presentations, which were to take up to three hours, and would start the next day.

  1. Movimiento Originario Popular (MOP)
  2. MNR-A3
  3. Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR)
  4. Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (MNR)
  5. Poder Democrático Social (PODEMOS)
  6. Alianza Social Patriótica (ASP)
  7. Unidad Nacional (UN)
  8. Movimiento Bolivia Libre (MBL)
  9. Autonomía Para Bolivia (APB)
  10. MNR-FRI (Camino al Cambio)
  11. Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS)
  12. Movimiento San Felipe de Austria (MCSFA)
  13. Alianza Andrés Ibáñez (AAI)
  14. Alianza Social (AS)
  15. AYRA
  16. Concertación Nacional (CN)