Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

Americas

Congress approves vote law after hunger strike by Morales

Video by Louis MASSIE

Latest update : 2009-04-10

Bolivian President Evo Morales declared he would begin a hunger strike Thursday to protest opposition moves to block a controversial electoral law that would allow him to run for reelection for another five-year term.

AFP - Bolivian President Evo Morales declared he would begin a hunger strike Thursday to protest opposition moves to block an electoral law they say will ensure Morales's victory in December elections.
  
"Faced with the negligence of a group of neoliberal lawmakers, we have to take this step," Morales told reporters at the presidential palace in La Paz.
  
"Now is the best time to force opposition senators in the national congress to approve the new law," he added, flanked by farmers and labor leaders.
  
Morales's ruling government controls the presidency and holds a firm grip on congress's lower house, but opposition lawmakers retain control of the senate.
  
The electoral law, mandated in the new constitution approved in January, would set a December 6 date for a national poll.
  
The controversial constitution allows, among other things, for Morales -- South America's first indigenous head of state -- to run for reelection for another five-year term.
  
Opposition lawmakers continue to block the bill because they say it hands 14 congressional seats to indigenous groups -- a move they maintain would simply grant Morales electoral success.
  

He won the 2005 elections on the back of strong indigenous support and he continues to champion the group's rights. The sweeping constitutional changes gave the country's 36 indigenous communities and groups rights to territory, language and even their own "community" systems of justice.
  
Later Thursday members of the presidential cabinet pledged to join the president in his hunger protest but a palace spokesman ruled out a solidarity strike, to ensure the Andean country continues to function.
  
Opposition leaders were quick to criticize the hunger strike as political theater.
  
"The strike is ridiculous," said Fernando Mesmer, member of the influential center-right opposition party Podemos. The majority party "wants to ensure (Morales's) re-election because they are so addicted to power, they want to stay in power to cover up the massive corruption," he added.
  
After the announcement Morales suspended a planned visit to Cuba on Thursday to meet counterpart Raul Castro and his elder brother, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
  
Morales did not rule out resuming the trip schedule when the situation in La Paz "returns to normal."
 

Date created : 2009-04-10

COMMENT(S)