Evo Morales, the Bolivian president, could stay in power until 2018 under constitutional rules proposed on Friday by his supporters.
The proposal will fuel concerns that Mr Morales is bent on concentrating his power, emulating Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan leader, his closest regional ally.
The governing MAS [Movimiento al socialismo = Way to socialism] party's representatives in an assembly that is rewriting Bolivia's constitution have proposed that the new document allow presidential re-election.
The MAS also confirmed that Mr Morales will be a candidate for the presidency in elections likely to take place next year, under new rules currently being discussed in a constitutional assembly.
That appeared to contradict statements made last week by the president, who suggested he would not stand in the 2008 elections. But MAS politician Carlos Romero on Friday clarified that Mr Morales would also be allowed to stand for a third term as president in elections in 2013.
Mr Romero told the EFE news agency that "2008 would not be a re-election, but a new election" under a new constitution, implying that Mr Morales could seek re-election for another five-year presidential term, which would end in 2018.
My goodness... But it goes on:
The MAS proposal echoes the rule of Alberto Fujimori, the authoritarian leader of Peru from 1990 to 2000, who was able to override a presidential two-term limit to stand in the 2000 elections thanks to the congressional passage of a "law of authentic interpretation" which suggested that Mr Fujimori had in fact only run for the presidency once under the existing constitution.
And then he is copying Fujimori....
Also FT reports about the sacking of YCFB [Bolivian Petrol Company]'s chief Morales Oliveira because of an scandal with the contracts with foreign investors [including Spanish-Argentinian Repsol YPF]:
The basis of the scandal is a string of irregularities in new gas contracts the government submitted to the legislature. The lower house of Congress - which is dominated by the pro-government MAS party - last November approved the 44 contracts signed last year with 12 foreign investors, including Respol of Spain, Petrobras of the US, Total of France and BG of the UK.
However, when the contracts were examined by the Senate, in which the opposition has a slim majority, it was discovered that the contracts submitted to the legislature were substantially different from those signed with international energy companies. Among the differences were errors in the names of the companies involved and in the location of natural gas reserves.
Because of the irregularities, the new contracts - which are slated to introduce higher tax rates for multinational investors - have still not come into force, five months after they were signed. The result has been that foreign investment in the sector has been frozen since last year
Related news: I did not treated it here -I just did not have time...- but some days ago I read a woman had been stoned to death in Bolivia, after being accused of adultery h/t Blogbis and Desde El Exilio. The Bolivian Constitution has forbidden the death penalty, yet some people are condemned to it by comunitary justice. Of course no trial, no lawyer.... And there are people who justify this:
Felipe Quispe, ex-peasant leader and today leader of his community Ajaría Chico (Omasuyos), said that the death penalty comes when the victim does not modify his/her behaviour after a first reflection and a second, after some chicotazos -I figure this is like beats but I am not sure..-
"There are times in which they are expelled from community and some others they are condemned to death, he/she can be anihilated, hunged more than everything", he revealed coincidentally with Callisaya [MAS deputy], who assures that "these extreme cases" happen when someone is "contaminated, polluted" and cannot be reiserted.
I think no comment is necessary...
El presidente boliviano, Evo Morales, podría estar en el poder hasta el año 2018 bajo las nuevas normas constitucionales que ha presentado su partido. Emulará así a Chávez, el líder venezolano, su aliado más cercano en la región.
El político del MAS, Carlos Romenro, dijo que se permitirá a Morales presentarse no sólo a un 2º mandato, cuyas elecciones se celebrarán en 2008, si no también en 2013, pudiendo presentarse a un tercer mandato.
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