June 23, 2008

The Referendum in Tarija

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The press is reporting a telling win of the "yes" vote in the Tarija autonomic referendum, carried out yesterday, Sunday, June 22. According to the reports, which are based on exit polls (the official results will take longer) over 80% of Tarijenos voted to accept the autonomic statutes, and a little less than 20% said no to them. This time, the abstention rate hovered around 35%.

The event took place with little trouble, contrary to the prior three referenda.

The significance is that now the government has one more province on the record, saying loud and clear, "we want autonomy". This has weakened the government's position. And is contributing to an even weaker position. Now, the provinces of Cochabamba and Sucre, have decided to go on with their own referenda to approve their own statutes. This is most likely to happen in the next months.