Tuesday, February 14, 2006

MAS' Intentions and Their First Purge

I guess today's news came as no surprise to anybody: MAS admitted that their plan is to get the hegemony in the Constituent Assembly, and because of that, they will seek to approve their proposed Call for Constituent Assembly Law. They clearly stated that they want to reform Bolivia at all levels, including the name, if they deem necessary (in other words, start making way for the Bolivarian, Tawantinsuyan or Originary Republic of Bolivia).

To reach their objective, they have also opened a new front against the CNE (Corte Nacional Electoral). What MAS wants to do here is force the current officials to resign. They have found two ways to achieve this objective: A no-confidence vote or a trial against CNE officials. Their preferred way is the first one, as the other would take longer than they are willing to make. Read the story here.

Now, it seems to me that MAS officials may have spoken too soon. The first piece of news, as I stated, probably did not surprise anybody. On the other hand, it probably did raise the alert levels at Podemos, UN and MNR. The reason is simple: until now, the constituent assembly was contemplated by all fronts and all the observations the opposition had had to do with the possibility of MAS extending its mandate a la Chavez. However, one could give them the benefit of doubt: perhaps they were really interested in changing the superstructure. So, what this statement means is that there is no room for doubt anymore: MAS will try to extend their mandate and design the new Constitution according to Evo's wishes (otherwise, they would be more concerned in having fair represenation rather than hegemony). Hopefully, this piece of news will serve as a wake-up call for the opposition to start working together. Remember that MAS alone can not get the necessary votes to approve their Law, they need 21 more votes. That means that neither UN or MNR is good for them, so they will have to lure Podemos. If Quiroga still has any political ambitions, this will not be the easiest of tasks.

The second piece of news is more worrying, though. By seeking the resignation of the electoral body in Bolivia, MAS is effectively purging the system of any elements they consider antagonistic to their interests. With the appointment of favourable elements in the Electoral Court, MAS will have room not only for fraud, but for the provision of computerized voting systems that will allow them to separate voters according to their preferences, as in Venezuela (probably Chavez will be keen to give Evo "fraternal" aid in this respect).

Evo is starting to unleash all his power against Bolivian democracy.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

why would you say, people are feeling Evo is doing a good job so far?

What do you think will happen if they don't get their way? are they going to send the people against the oposition?

10:26 PM  
Anonymous eduardo said...

I must say that the criticisms launched at the CNE have been rather unfair. The CNE did follow the law, which resulted in a lot of people who were depurada. Yes, they could have made more an effort to inform the people of their obligations to re-register, but the law is the law. Both parties suffered, even though there were cases of individuals who voted in the Municipal and Referendum and were still left off the voting rolls. Maybe the attacks launched on the CNE during the victory and inauguration speech was setting up public opinion for a move against the CNE.

2:16 AM  
Blogger Alvaro Ruiz-Navajas said...

I don't know much about Evo's approval rating. Last time I saw, most people were supporting Evo, although most were opposed to his coca policy.

Now, you have to take into account the fact that Evo has not done anything yet, except for reducing the wages for officials and talking about coca. So, the abovementioned poll suggests that people did respond favourably to one issue (wages) but not to the other. So, it is to early to tell what people really think of Evo's mandate.

Evo has stated once and again that he is waiting for the Constituent Assembly before doing anything else. So, he will pressure as hard as he can and use the people to play chicken with the opposition. To be honest, I don't know what would happen if MAS does not get their way.

Eduardo, I know that the criticisms launched against the CNE have been unfair. But then again, you have a party like MAS in office, and they will not respect any laws they consider antagonistic to their project. Their project is, probably, extend their mandate indefinitely and kill the opposition, as Chavez did in Venezuela. This is why the CNE must go.

12:23 PM  

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