Friday, February 03, 2006

The Beginning of the End for Bolivian Democracy? (Update 1)

Ever since I started this blog and first posted, I referred to Evo as being harmful to democracy, and therefore, as the worst that could happen to Bolivia. Now, less than two weeks after assuming his mandate, Evo has sent the first signals of his anti-democratic tendencies. In today's La Prensa, Evo publicly announced that he will resort to popular pressure (read: marches and blockades) if the congress does not approve of his Call for Constituent Assembly Law (Ley de Convocatoría a la Asamblea Constituyente).

He also pointed out that the Constituent Assembly should have unlimited power and not be accountable to either the Legislature or the Executive (he did not mention the Judiciary), as it would write an entirely new consitution, not just reform the current one.

Finally, he made clear that the new Constitution would be the engine for reform, because "his enemies" will be quick to run to the Constitutional Court in order to neutralize his decrees (as they would be violating the current constitution) until a new constitution is in place.

What decrees Evo, who thinks of Fidel Castro as a democrat, may have in mind is anyone's guess.

Update 1: Accodring to Los Tiempos, the opposition reacted promptly by stating that Evo's intentions did not show respect for either the Constitution or the laws. UN put things in their place when their Deputy Chief stated that the constituent assembly will not be a social movement meeting, and will not be made according to MAS or Morales' wishes, but according to those of the country. "The election [of constituents] will take place with one man, one vote", he added. The reactions of Morales after the backlash are not reported.


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