Friday, August 01, 2008

Bolivian Recall Referendum Riles Tensions

Andean Information Network, July 30th 2008

The Bolivian Senate, with a slight opposition majority, inexplicably resurrected and approved the law to convoke the recall referendum that it had initially blocked after the MAS-dominated lower house of congress approved it. President Morales opted to sign the bill into law, clearly beneficial to him, instead of vetoing the initiative and provoking harsh opposition criticism.

Within this convoluted context, it is not surprising that regional and other opposition forces continue to attempt to block the recall referendum. The Morales administration and its allies have continued to staunchly support the vote, scheduled for August 10. On July 22 the only remaining member of the Constitutional Tribunal emitted a legal criteria on a request submitted by UN congressman Arturo Murillo, stating that legal precedents exist to affirm that the referendum should be postponed until the Constitutional Tribunal (which has only one member, and as a result insufficient quorum to make rulings) rules on the constitutionality of the questions posed by the referendum.
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