Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bolivian Constitutional Referendum Analysis: An Overview

FYI: Here's an interesting piece from the Andean Information Network about this week's events in Bolivia.


Written by The Andean Information Network

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

On January 25, 2009 Bolivians will vote to accept or reject a draft constitution promoted by the MAS government, resulting from the conflict-ridden Constitutional Assembly and subsequent multiparty negotiations. The extensive 100-page, awkwardly-worded document has provoked a myriad of mixed reactions in the diverse nation. Opposition groups have voiced stiff criticism of the proposal, although ironically their congressional representatives ratified it. On the other hand, some social movements and progressive groups argue that MAS permitted too many concessions in the document to make it sufficiently reformist. Some of these critiques have proven valid and constructive, and others inaccurate and politically motivated.

In general, the current political atmosphere is marked by unfounded accusations and lies regarding the content of the draft presented in TV spots and other media outlets as the opposition attempts to defeat the proposed constitution. This propaganda takes advantage of the length and complexity of the document, which suggests that most people will not read the draft before voting upon it. Despite the opposition’s campaign, the document will most likely be approved. It will clearly need to be reworked and improved through a long process of legislation, placing a difficult and crucial responsibility in the hands of Bolivian legislators.

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