Saturday, August 09, 2008

Bolivia’s Recall Referendum: Setting the Stage for Resumed Political Conflict

Andean Information Network, 7 Aug 2008

On August 10, Bolivians will go to the polls in a referendum to decide whether the president, vice-president, and eight of the country’s nine departmental prefects (governors) will remain in office. Opponents of President Evo Morales and the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) coalition have sought to cancel the upcoming recall referendum by challenging its legality, but it is unlikely that they will succeed. The law authorizing the referendum was approved just months ago, in May, by the Bolivian Senate, where the opposition Poder Democrático y Social (PODEMOS) party enjoys a majority. To be sure, the referendum’s passage chagrined sectors of the opposition at the departmental level, both because some prefects will be hard-pressed to garner enough votes to remain in office, and because the referendum is viewed as a distraction from the regional autonomy agenda that opposition prefects have been pursuing, especially in the “media luna” lowlands departments of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija.

Continue and the full report here.

No comments: