Sunday, February 08, 2009

New Bolivia constitution in force

Evo Morales - 7/2/2009
Mr Morales said he had accomplished his mission to refound Bolivia
Bolivia's President Evo Morales has enacted a new constitution that aims to empower the country's indigenous majority and allows for land reform.

Mr Morales said he had accomplished his mission to re-found Bolivia.

The new constitution was approved in a referendum last month by 61% of voters, but was rejected in the lowland regions where Bolivia's wealth is concentrated.

The constitution also scraps the single term limit for the president, allowing Mr Morales to seek re-election. Mr Morales is Bolivia's first indigenous president. Speaking to thousands of supporters in the town of El Alto, near the administrative capital of La Paz, Mr Morales said his opponents had "tried ceaselessly" to kill him. "Now I want to tell you that they can drag me from the palace. They can kill me. Mission accomplished for the re-founding of the new united Bolivia." Bolivia's President Evo Morales has enacted a new constitution that aims to empower the country's indigenous majority and allows for land reform. Mr Morales said he had accomplished his mission to re-found Bolivia. The new constitution was approved in a referendum last month by 61% of voters, but was rejected in the lowland regions where Bolivia's wealth is concentrated. The constitution also scraps the single term limit for the president, allowing Mr Morales to seek re-election. Mr Morales is Bolivia's first indigenous president. Speaking to thousands of supporters in the town of El Alto, near the administrative capital of La Paz, Mr Morales said his opponents had "tried ceaselessly" to kill him. "Now I want to tell you that they can drag me from the palace. They can kill me. Mission accomplished for the re-founding of the new united Bolivia." KEY REFORMS Re-election: Allows Mr Morales to stand for re-election in Dec 2009
Indigenous rights: Stresses importance of ethnicity in Bolivia's make-up. A whole chapter devoted to indigenous rights
Autonomy: Power decentralised, four levels of autonomy - departmental, regional, municipal and indigenous
Resources: Sets out state control over key economic sectors, state sovereignty over vast natural gas fields
Judiciary: Indigenous systems of justice same status as official existing system. Judges will be elected, and no longer appointed by Congress.
Land: New limit on ownership 5,000 hectares (12,355). But measure not retroactive.

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