Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

FOCUS

Many Turks angry over Syrian refugee situation

Read more

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the plane crash that took 116 lives - almost half of them French

Read more

  • Live: ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Morales calls for talks on autonomy

Latest update : 2008-05-08

After the province of Santa Cruz voted in favour of autonomy, Bolivian President Evo Morales called for urgent talks with regional leaders as other provinces prepare to stage their own referendums.

Bolivian President Evo Morales called on Thursday for urgent talks with regional leaders to ease divisions over mounting demands for autonomy, but some said they were not yet ready for negotiations.
 
Bolivia's richest region of Santa Cruz voted heavily in favor of autonomy from central government in a referendum on Sunday and the leaders of at least three other regions said they will not meet with Morales until holding similar votes over the next two months.
 
The eastern lowland regions of Tarija, Beni and Pando plan referendums before the end of June.
 
The votes could strengthen the autonomy movement and increase conflict with the western highlands where Morales, a leftist and Bolivia's first indigenous president, has his support base.
 
"This Bolivian family cannot be divided," Morales said in Santa Cruz just days after his supporters clashed with autonomy backers in the referendum. "Autonomy must be for all Bolivians, with social justice, not autonomy just for groups."
 
Morales, who has said the referendums are illegal, asked for all of Bolivia's nine regional governors to meet with him on Monday to avoid further division.
 
But opposition leaders say they will only attend talks if the government gives a clear signal that it will respect the autonomy votes.
 
"We are of the position that dialogue must come after the Tarija referendum," said Reynaldo Bayard, a business leader and supporter of autonomy in Tarija.
 
The referendums are widely seen as a rejection of Morales' left-wing policies, particularly his goal of redistributing lands to Bolivia's poor, indigenous majority.
 
Morales is a close ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and is a champion of Indian rights and agrarian reform.
 
His pro-indigenous policies worry the wealthy eastern provinces, where some large landowners see him as a threat to booming agriculture.
 
The referendum votes would in theory give conservative-leaning regions more control over natural resources and the tax and justice systems.

Date created : 2008-05-08

COMMENT(S)