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Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

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Americas

Official results show support for referendum gaining ground

Latest update : 2009-01-29

With more than 80% of vote counted, official results show more than 60% of Bolivians have approved a new constitution in a referendum that has split the country between its European-descended elites and supporters of President Evo Morales.

AFP - Official figures in Bolivia's landmark referendum on a new constitution showed 61.08 percent in favor versus 38.92 percent opposed, according to a report released late Tuesday by the National Electoral Commission (CNE).
  
With 86.9 percent of the total voting data reviewed, the CNE said it has confirmed initial voter breakdowns that showed approval for the reforms at 60 percent, compared to 40 percent against.
  
The vote on Sunday approved the constitutional changes that empower the country's indigenous majority and allow President Evo Morales to seek reelection.
  
The new document scraps the single-term limit for the president, allowing Morales to stand for a second five-year term.
  
The changes also allow 36 indigenous communities and groups to win the right to territory, language and their own "community" justice, and enacts agrarian reform measures by limiting the size of landholdings.
  
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday hailed the peaceful conduct of the referendum in Bolivia and congratulated Bolivians for their "demonstration of civic responsibility."
  

Date created : 2009-01-29

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