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BOLIVIA
New charter approved
Latinamerica Press
11/29/2007
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Bolivian delegates approved the framework for a new constitution, while protests raged, leaving four dead and more than 100 people injured, some seriously, in Sucre, where a constituent assembly was meeting since August 2006 to redraft the charter.

Protests by conservative sectors and university students grew so intense that the assembly — controlled by President Evo Morales´ Movement to Socialism (MAS) party with a slim margin — was moved to a military base for delegates´ security.

In the absence of 117 opposition delegates in the 225-member assembly, representatives approved the basic framework for the new charter.

An article-by-article review must be completed by Dec. 14. The document will later face approval in a national referendum.

Former president, conservative Jorge Quiroga (2001-2002) blasted the new constitution, saying “it is worth as much as a piece of used toilet paper (that) doesn´t serve anything at all.”

Morales asked Bolivians for “calm so that everyone democratically supports social justice and a new political constitution that guarantees profound changes within democracy.


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