[Marxism] Latest vote in Bolivia

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Sun Jun 22 20:30:23 MDT 2008


http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=61059&sectionid=351020706

Fourth Bolivian state votes for autonomy
Mon, 23 Jun 2008 05:29:38

Tension is growing high in Bolivia as the energy-rich Tarija area voted 
overwhelmingly to seek greater autonomy from the central government.

The referendum in Tarija, the smallest of Bolivia's nine provinces but home to 
more than 80 percent of its vast natural gas reserves, followed similar ballots 
in the Amazon regions of Pando and Beni, and wealthy Santa Cruz.

Evo Morales, the country's first indigenous president has called the votes 
'illegal and separatist'. His supporters called for a boycott, and more than a 
third of Tarija's 173,000 registered voters did not cast ballots, early results 
showed.

Partial results carried by local television showed 80.3 percent of voters backed 
the autonomy plan, which would, in theory, give local leaders control over 
taxes, policing and natural resources, Reuters reported.

"We need to give ourselves an opportunity, and autonomy will give us the 
deep-rooted change we need, a real change that will unite Bolivia," Tarija 
Governor Mario Cossio said.

Previous referendums, organized by rightist local governors, saw violent clashes 
between pro- and anti-Morales demonstrators but election officials in Tarija 
said Sunday's voting was generally calm.


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