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Bolivia

Yearbook 2009

Bolivia. On January 25, unexpectedly, an overwhelming majority, or 62 percent, of Bolivia's voters voted yes to the country's new constitution. The turnout was high, 90 percent. However, the deep divide between eastern and western Bolivia was clear; in the four eastern provinces of Santa Cruz, Pando, Tarija and Beni won the down side. The new constitution strengthens the state's role in the economy, recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples by providing guaranteed representation for Indians both in Congress, hereafter referred to as a "multinational congregation", and in the Constitutional Court.

2009 Bolivia

On February 7, the new Constitution came into force, and President Evo Morales announced that 500 years of colonial submission were now over. According to countryaah, the following day, a new "multinational" government was presented. In line with the new Constitution's guidelines, the long-awaited land reform began in mid-March when 38,000 acres of land was handed over to Guarani Indians in Santa Cruz Province. However, the implementation of the laws surrounding the election procedure became dramatic. The opposition demanded the guaranteed minimum number of Native American mandates in Congress, prompting several members of the Movimiento al Socialismos (MAS) party to threaten to boycott the vote in Congress, and President Morales to launch a hunger strike. In the end, however, a compromise was reached and on April 14 it was decided that elections to the presidential office and the congress would be held on December 6.

As expected, the presidential election became a landslide victory for President Morales, who received 64 percent of the vote against opposition candidate Manfred Reyes Villas 28 percent. Even in the congressional elections, the presidential party won the MAS major and gained almost its own majority in both chambers.

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