Archive for Monday, June 23, 2008

4th state chooses autonomy in vote

June 23, 2008

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— Natural gas-rich Tarija became the fourth Bolivian state to declare autonomy from the government of leftist President Evo Morales on Sunday when voters backed greater independence in a referendum, according to two private quick counts of votes.

Autonomy backers waved the state's flag and celebrated in Tarija's capital after pollsters released results showing the "yes" vote getting about 80 percent support. Electoral officials said there would be no final results until Wednesday.

"A new Bolivia must be built on a foundation of autonomy," Gov. Mario Cossio told a crowd of supporters Sunday night. "Centralism has left a bad legacy - we are the second-poorest country on the continent. Autonomy is the new path."

The referendum followed similar votes, with similar results, in three other lowland states.

Morales has called the referenda illegal attempts to cripple his government.

Tarija's vote was carried out with some delays but without major problems. Supporters of Morales blocked roads to two small towns but failed to disrupt the voting, said Miguel Angel Guzman, president of the state electoral court, which supports the autonomy measure.

Tarija, in the border region with Argentina and Paraguay 400 miles south of the capital, La Paz, is home to 85 percent of Bolivia's natural gas reserves - the nation's main export.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

If this process continues, it represents a disintegration of Bolivia along racial/ethnic and class lines. The largely white, wealthy and conservative south wants to split from the Indians that make of the large majority of Bolivia's population, and take its greatest source of wealth with them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

What's happening is that the small minorities who have historically extracted all the wealth of Bolivia can no longer control the elections, so they are essentially attempting to secede, and take much of that country's wealth with them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

And you, malcom, would have all the wealth of the country remain in the hands of the descendants of the conquistadors, and screw the Indians.

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