October 20, 2011

The Biginning of a Political Headache?

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The TIPNIS conflict has become a real headache for the Morales government. In fact, it has the potential to turn into a chronic desease, if the government and its party, the MAS, does not take care of its alliances.

The Senator for MAS, Pedro Nuni, has told Erbol that he will leave the MAS congressional faction to start another indigenous faction within Congress. He said he was tired to "raise his hands like a stupid". He complained that MAS and Evo only had the interests of the highland indigenous groups in mind and that the lowland indigenous groups were not important for Evo.

Nuni is a representative of the lowland indigenous groups and as such is bounded in his actions to the scrutiny of his constituency. He was asked by the representative organization to serve as a deputy. 

This ought to be a warning signal for a government who is dependent on the support of the indigenous population. The break up of some indigenous groups might rest on the legitimacy that up to now the government has claimed for itself. It, for sure, will rest on the support in Congress that the government might need in order to pass some legislation.

In my opinion, this break up is unavoidable. As the different groups in Congress face the government's agenda and weight this agenda against the interests of their own constituencies, some dissagreement is bound to show up. Instead, the government should be concentrating more on compromise and communication than on setting up a system of party discipline.

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