Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bolivians approve constitution backed by leftist leader

Looks like the United States will be stuck with damage from the Bush administration for years and years. On Sunday, Bolivia's anti-U.S. president, Evo Morales, won the right to extend his rule when voters agreed to adopt a new constitution that also gives the government more power to control the economy and gives indigenous people more power to control the government, according to the Reuters international news service. Exit polls showed as many as 60 percent of voters approved the new powers, which were proposed by Morales, Bolivia's first native Indian president, Reuters said. Morales, an ally of Venezuela's anti-U.S. president Hugo Chavez and Ecuador's Rafael Correa, will be able to extend his term in office to 2014 if he wins re-election this year. He would have had to leave office in 2011 under the previous constitution. The new constitution gives native Indians more seats in the legislature and more rights in the legal system, Reuters said, after years of domination by white and mixed-race Bolivians. The new basic law also gives the government more power to control the country's abundant natural resources, now a major source of income. Chavez and Correa also have proposed rewriting their countries' constitutions to exert more power over resources but also to extend their rule.

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