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Bolivia: Constitutional Referendum

(Mar. 2, 2008) On February 28, 2008, the Bolivian Congress, in a vote boycotted by the opposition, approved the holding of a referendum on May 4 on a draft constitution drawn up by supporters of President Evo Morales. The vote surprised government and opposition committees that were negotiating constitutional amendments to reduce the central government's influence. Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, has alienated Bolivia's rich lowland regions, whose populations are largely of European descent or mixed, by pushing the plan, which would strengthen indigenous rights. The political crisis is threatening to split the country. (Bolivia: Morales convoca a referendo, AGENDA DIGITAL DE NOTICIAS, Feb. 29, 2008.)