August 29, 2008

The Next Steps to Follow by the Government of Bolivia

MABB © ®

After a 10 hour MAS summit, President Evo Morales issued Supreme Decree No. 29691. With it, he sets the new date to submit his constitution to the vote.

As the decree says, December 7, 2008 will be the date when Bolivians once again go to the ballot boxes to vote for:

1. Approval of the Oruro Constitution (Decembre 9, 2007)
2. Approval of the maximum extension of land that can be under private hands
3. The election of the La Paz and Cochabamba Prefects
4. The election of Sub-prefects and Departmental Assemblies

The decree is based on laws 3836 y 3837 from February 29, 2008, which norm the simultaneous elections and the date of the election, respectively. In addition, Law 3364 (Convocatoria a la Asamblea Constituyente) provides additional framework, according to the government.

More on La Razón.

The opposition has immediately responded, they will not accept the referendum to take place.
So far there are individual reactions, but I think a coordinated continuation of the opposition will get more radical now.


GS said...

I think this is going to be yet another stalemate. A lot can happen between now and December, but if the opposition refuses to go along with the referendum and the legitimacy of the Oruro Constitution is tarnished, then that will not be good for Evo or Bolivia in the long run. Some compromises need to be made soon or this will be never-ending. I sincerely hope that you are wrong and that the opposition does not radicalize it's position.

Unrelated, did you happen to read the NYTimes article on Bolivia today? This line, “Paradoxically, the United States has been far more tolerant of this regime than with governments in the past that were its friends,” said Roberto Laserna, a political scientist in Cochabamba who studies the cocaine trade, made me think of a point you have made a couple of times in the past and which I have always challenged. Your point was about the relative position of strength Evo finds himself in vis-a-vis US policy. My hat's off to you!

mabb said...

Yes, that is what I say, and is not because the US is any weaker. I think the US has its hands tied up because it doesn't want to get out (and therefore loose influence) of a country in South America.

If they would have to get out of Bolivia, it would be a real hit on American diplomacy and for the American government. It just doesn't pay to be tough with a president like Evo.

I suspect the US is being clever about it and not giving into Evo's game. In this moment, Evo needs an enemy to unite more Bolivians. What better enemy than the 'imperialist US'? That would make things so much easier.

Tom said...

Good job! :)