Wry Exchange

Bolivia Vote May 4, 2008
05-05-08, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Culture | Tags:

 Santa Cruz province overwhelmingly voted for autonomia yesterday.  Over 80% of the votes were for autonomy, and over half of the eligible population voted.  President Evo Morales refuses to recognize the vote, calling it illegal.  Let’s see if it means anything. 
From Reuters: A complete success for democracy,” said the Santa Cruz electoral court, which said that with more than a third of votes counted, 84 percent voted for autonomy, and 16 percent against.
The electoral court and the central government agreed that some 36 to 40 percent of eligible voters boycotted polls, and the central government said that was high enough abstention to make the vote invalid.
“What is notable here is the phenomenal level of abstention,” said Juan Ramon Quintana, Morales’ cabinet chief. “This vote was illegal. Shouldn’t we note how many people abstained here?”
The vote theoretically would allow Santa Cruz to elect its own leaders and create its own tax and justice system and also to control its own natural resources, including about 10 percent of Bolivia’s oil and natural gas reserves.


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