Monday, July 03, 2006

Constituent Assembly

Ten day ago, my computer broke down and I have not blogged since. The computer's still broken and may take up to a month fixing it (as long as my thesis is intact, I'm happy, I must say). I could not cover the final race towards the Constituent Assembly, but here I am reporting the first results.

According to El Deber, the Crescent Moon has voted for autonomy. The crescent is made up of four departments (Pando, Beni, Santa Cruz and Tarija) and is the economic core of the country. As such, this region is far more progressive than the Altiplano in the west.

According to the graph below, the region that most supported the autonomy is Beni. Meanwhile, the vote is still being counted in Pando, but according to Mori agency's surveys, autonomy has won with 54%. There is no doubt about the wishes of the other 3 departments that chose autonomy and people went to celebrate autonomy after learning the results. Although 56% of the population voted against autonomy on a national level, Evo has admitted the autonomy of the four regions and cautiosly said that it will be up for the constituents to decide on this issue.
On the other side of the spectrum, Oruro is the department that feels most strongly against autonomy. The other departments that have voted against autonomy are La Paz, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Potosi. Chuquisaca appears to be the most divided department, with 56% voting against and 44% voting for autonomy.

According to Los Tiempos, the change in the way constituyents were elected affected MAS inveersely. With these changes, MAS only got 52,9% of the seats (which is less than what they got in the December elections and the two thirds that Evo was rallying for). The next force in the constituent assembly is Podemos, with 60 constituyents (23,5%), followed by UN (4,3%) and up to 20 groups with 1 to 5 representants (these numbers are based on exit polls and may not reflect the final result).

The important thing is that according to the law passed to call the Cosntituent Assembly (CA), the new constitution can only be approved if two thirds of the assembly approves it (170 members). As a results, groups in the crescent moon region are interpreting the results as a defeat for Evo, with analyst Alcides Pareja bluntly saying that "MAS' orgasm is over".
Other analysts see the results of the election as a cry for the acceptance of diversity and highlight MAS' need for allies and concertation.

La Razon appears more sensationalist and has headers indicating the triumph of MAS and the defeat of autonomies.

Among the blogs, you can find the first results in Jonathan's Business & Politics in Bolivia, as well as Sunday's headings.

Official results will be ready in 25 days. In the meanwhile, you can check the official results in the CNE website.

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