Thursday, February 16, 2006

Constituent Assembly Update

In a post on Tuesday, I stated that MAS may have spoken too soon about their intentions regarding the Constituent Assembly. Yesterday's reactions, which seem to confirm this statement, are all over the news: three departments, maybe four, stated that they will not participate in a MAS-dominated constituent assembly. The departments in question are Pando, Beni and Tarija, and Chuquisaca may be joining them. Moreover, today, La Razon reports that only two regions -La Paz and Potosi- support Evo's plans for the Assembly. It is interesting to note that even Cochabamba, MAS' stronghold, would rather go for an egalitarian Assembly.

Evo, on the other hand, has been playing the wrong game. So far, he believes that he can just bully the opposition into complying with his wishes, but that has only united them. So, we see that while we had 3 regions threatening with not going to the Assembly yesterday, today we have 7 (of 9) regions opposing Evo's plans. Moreover, comments like the one against banana exporters do not serve any other purpose than creating more and more enemies to his administration. What was the purpose of that comment, really? Why does Evo want to avoid a $500 million/year business? In the end, when we take into account that internal conflict may be rife in his administration (here), signs point to Cayetano Llobet's prediction hitting the bull's-eye: the MAS administration will probably end up having more in common with the UDP administration (1982-1985) than with Chavez's.

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