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Archive for Saturday, October 29, 2005

Election postponed in redistricting dispute

October 29, 2005

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— A Bolivian court on Friday indefinitely postponed elections scheduled for Dec. 4 because of a dispute in Congress over redistricting, moving the poor Andean nation toward a possible power vacuum when the current president steps down.

Both leading presidential candidates criticized the ruling by the National Electoral Court, with the leftist Evo Morales warning that the "people could rise up against the court." His main rival, Jorge Quiroga, urged Congress to move on the redistricting dispute, saying Bolivia's fragile democracy was at risk.

Bolivia's caretaker president, Eduardo Rodriguez, has said he will step down in January even if elections are delayed, leaving the nation without a president. The December vote would have allowed Bolivians to elect his replacement, as well as members of the bicameral congress and governors.

The disagreement stems from a Constitutional Court ruling in September that Congress must reallocate its seats before the upcoming election to reflect Bolivia's 2001 census.

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