Bolivia constitutional assembly suspended after violent protests

[JURIST] Bolivian Constitutional Assembly [official website, in Spanish] president Silvia Lazarte announced a month-long suspension of constitutional reform talks Friday, citing security concerns after days of violent protests by university students and other opposition members who have demanded the relocation of the Bolivian capital [LA Times report] from the city of La Paz to the historical capital of Sucre. Leftist President Evo Morales [official website, in Spanish; BBC profile] opposes the move, as Morales' Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) [party website, in Spanish; Wikipedia backgrounder] retains greater political support in La Paz. The delay is the latest setback to Morales' pledge to rewrite the constitution, which was originally scheduled to be completed in early-August but has been stalled by a voting scheme dispute [JURIST report].

Morales, elected in 2005 [JURIST report] as Bolivia's first indigenous president, has sought a full rewrite of the country's constitution to facilitate widespread social change. Governors from wealthier provinces have pledged not to cooperate [JURIST report] with the constitutional reform process. Reuters has more.

 

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