March 18, 2007

Bolivian Constituent Assembly: PODEMOS' Proposal

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This time I present the main characteristics of the PODEMOS proposal for a vision of state.

PODEMOS proposes to anchor the new state in the following principles and values: human rights; life; pluralism of politics and faith; respect for social practices, customs and organization of the different indigenous peoples; social responsibility; democracy; tolerance, liberty, transparency, unity, equality, equity, justice, solidarity; human dignity; constitutional supremacy; sovereignty, normative hierarchy; cultural diversity; integrity of territory; redistribution; inclusion; independence; and complementarity.

Rights: individual rights are the right to life, physical and psychological integrity; honor and good reputation; ethnic and cultural identity; liberty, freedom of thought, religion, information, conscience, association, speech; security; privacy; due process; private property. The political rights are the right to vote, and be voted; re-call a mandate; association and belonging to a political group; social control; to participate in public affairs; citizen's initiative; referendum.

Democracy: participative democracy with direct elections, plebiscite, citizen's initiatives, mandate re-call, social citizen control, referendum.

The Executive: the system is presidentialism. Executive is constituted by a President and a Premier or 'Cabinet Chief', and the Cabinet of Ministers. The heads of state are elected by direct elections.

The Legislative: it consists of two chambers, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Legislative members are elected by direct vote, the Deputies are elected using the single members district system. Two chambers to provide representation to regions and districts.

The Judicial: Judges are elected by the Consejo de la Magistratura, an independent body comprised of academics, citizens and professionals.

Communal Justice: Communal Justice is used within the framework of mediation and conflict resolution.

Citizen's control: The Citizens Control Councils function parallel to each of the government levels.

State organization: there are three levels of government, national, departmental, and municipal. The departmental head of government is either the Governor or the Prefect. The Mayor or Alcalde is the head of government of the municipality. The departmental level of government has a Departmental Assembly or Council. At the municipal level the deliberative body is the Municipal Council.

Health: universal health and social security.

Education: free, universal and obligatory education.

Economy: market economy within the framework of sustainable development. The state should intervene in the market to assure equitable distribution.

Decentralization and autonomy: the state is decentralized and the departments which opted for autonomy in the July 2006 referendum have the option to implement it.

Natural resources: renewable and non renewable natural (including land) resources is the dominion of the state. It is the state's responsibility to exploit these resources and distribute the benefits to all Bolivians.

Army: the function of the military is to defend the integrity of Bolivia.

More details are found here.