Bolivia president rejects regional autonomy referendum Michael Sung at 9:09 AM ET
[JURIST] Bolivians in the state of Santa Cruz [official website, in Spanish] participated in a regional referendum Sunday on greater autonomy from the Bolivian national government despite opposition from Bolivian President Evo Morales [official website; BBC profile], who characterized the referendum as illegal and unconstitutional. The poll was backed by Santa Cruz leaders as a way for the state to protect its natural gas and agriculture from Morales' efforts to redistribute land and natural resource revenues. Local media reported 85 percent of voters supporting the referendum, although Morales said that the referendum was a failure because more than half the ballots cast were invalid.
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