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Bolivia president plans to use referendum victory to push reforms

[JURIST] Bolivian national referendum [JURIST reports] results released Monday show that President Evo Morales [official website; BBC profile] won an estimated 63% of the votes on Sunday, enough to stay in office. Morales himself proposed the referendum [JURIST report] last December in response to accusations that his process for rewriting the Bolivian constitution has been illegitimate, and said Monday that he will use his demonstrated support to push for nationalization of major industries and concentration of power in the central government. Despite Morales's claim that the vote would bring unity to the country [press release, in Spanish], opponents of the changes have held protests [BBC report] calling for more autonomy for provincial governments in the country. AFP has more.

In 2006, governors from six of Bolivia's nine states vowed to break off relations with Morales following a bid to give his leftist party more power [JURIST reports] to rewrite the Bolivian constitution [JURIST news archive]. A proposed national referendum on the new draft constitution, which had originally been blocked [JURIST report], was narrowly approved 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 to participate in the vote.

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