Bolivia congress approves confidence referendum on government leaders

[JURIST] The Bolivian National Congress [official website, in Spanish] voted Thursday to hold a national referendum on President Evo Morales [official website; JURIST news archive] Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, and nine regional governors within the next 90 days. The officials must receive more than 53.74% percent of the vote to keep their positions. Morales is the first indigenous president of Bolivia, and began the six-year term in 2005. The call for the vote of confidence came after Bolivians in the wealthy state of Santa Cruz [official website, in Spanish] voted for greater autonomy from the national government [JURIST report] in an effort to protect its natural gas and agriculture. Morales has tried to redistribute land and natural resource revenues throughout the nation, and called that referendum illegal. Morales says, however, that he will go along with the confidence referendum proposal; he actually proposed the concept himself [JURIST report] last December. CNN has more.

In March, Bolivia's National Electoral Court blocked a national referendum on the new draft constitution originally slated for May 4, finding that the proposed poll [JURIST reports] failed to satisfy a constitutional provision requiring the national vote to be held within 90 days of congressional approval. The proposed national referendum was narrowly approved [JURIST report] in February by the Bolivian Constitutional Assembly [official website, in Spanish], amid reports that Morales supporters prevented many draft opponents from entering the constitutional building and participating in the vote.

 

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