Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tengo Hambre: Evo Morales Goes on Hunger Strike

By Jennifer Woodard Maderazo · 9 Apr 2009


BOLIVIAN President Evo Morales has begun a hunger strike to protest opposition moves to block an electoral law they say will ensure Mr Morales's victory in December elections.

"Faced with the negligence of a group of neoliberal lawmakers, we have to take this step,'' Mr Morales said.

"Now is the best time to force opposition senators in the national congress to approve the new law,'' he added, flanked by farmers and labor leaders.

Mr Morales's ruling government controls the presidency and holds a firm grip on congress's lower house, but opposition lawmakers retain control of the senate.

The electoral law, mandated in the new constitution approved in January, would set a December 6 date for a national poll.

The controversial constitution allows, among other things, for Mr Morales - South America's first indigenous head of state - to run for re-election for another five-year term.

Opposition lawmakers continue to block the bill because they say it hands 14 congressional seats to indigenous groups - a move they maintain would simply grant Morales electoral success.

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