Bolivia holds presidential confidence referendum

Bolivia holds presidential confidence referendum

[JURIST] Bolivia on Sunday held a national referendum [JURIST report] on whether to keep Bolivian President Evo Morales [official website; BBC profile], Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, and Bolivia's nine governors in office. Morales himself actually proposed the idea of a recall election [JURIST report] last December in response to accusations that his process for rewriting the Bolivian constitution has been illegitimate, but following Saturday reports of pre-election violence, some experts speculated that the referendum may lead to greater problems in the nation [AFP report]. Bolivians are required to vote [RTE News report] in the referendum, and face a large fine if they refuse. The officials must win more than 53.74 percent of the vote to keep their positions. AP 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.