MAS prepares for the Constituent Assembly

La Razon, November 13

The Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) announced that, if by Wednesday consensus had not been achieved with the opposition, it would use its majority to finish off approving the regulations for debate in the Constituent Assembly.

In Cochabamba, the MAS congress was preparing instructions to give regarding the reform of the constitution, as well as proposing that the constituent assembly be subordinated to the social sectors. In accordance with the position of President Evo Morales, the MAS members warned that the deadline for the new constitution would remain August 6, 2007.

On the other side of the road, the opposition warned that if MAS insisted in approving the reforms to the constitution by absolute majority, the assembly would be illegal. That is why there are currently four proposals for regulations being presented to the directorate of the constituent assembly.

“Our political timeline to resolve the regulations for the constituent assembly finishes on Wednesday. If consensus is not achieved, we will have to apply our political majority” the MAS constituent assembly delegate, Carlos Romero, announced yesterday.

A day before, in Cochabamba, in inaugurating the MAS congress, Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera said to the opposition; “we will respond with mobilizations if they do not want to move forward along democratic lines”.

At the same meeting, which will finish today, the political lines that the assembly should follow were discussed.

According to the assembly delegate Marco Carrillo (MAS), it was determined that the legislative body should be single chamber and that legislators should be elected for five years.

As well, it was demanded that MAS delegates respect the decisions of the social organization and that the handing over of the new constitutional text be guaranteed to occur on August 6, 2007, as established by law.

To achieve this, the number of vigils will be increased in Sucre and mobilizations will be carried out.

According to Carrillo, these were the resolutions coming out of the MAS congress, nevertheless, other parliamentarians, such as Gabriel Herbas, assured that fully defined lines have not been set out and that these were proposals coming out of the commissions.

From the opposition, the head of the Podemos bench in the constituent assembly, Ruben Dario Cuellar, responded by saying “if MAS persists in its attitude (of approving the constitution via a mixed mechanism) it will remained isolated, because the majority of the population demands that the two thirds be complied with”.

The MNR and UN have the same position, who together with five other political forces signed a commitment to make sure that the two thirds vote was respected in the constituent assembly. MAS continues to insist on absolute majority.

The assembly will not be extended

The constituent assembly delegates from the opposition and MAS assured that their mandate would not be extended and that it would conclude on August 6, 2007 with the handing over of a new Political Constitution of the State.

The response came after threats from President Evo Morales directed at the delegates, to speed up their work and not try and extend their mandate for another year for salary interests. After more than 3 months of work, this forum has not begun to deal with constitutional reforms, as it remains stuck on approving regulations.

Those from the opposition assured that the blame lay with the officialists because “they don’t want agreement”.

“We have not thought off needing to extend the deadline”, signaled the UN delegate, Jorge Lazarte. Carlos Romera from MAS said “I am ruling out any extension, even for only 24 hours”.

The proposals

Transmission – MAS has asked that developments in the constituent assembly be transmitted live on television.

Justice – They have proposed that communitarian justice be legalized and that the elections of members of the judicial power be transparent.

Reports – The constituent assembly delegates have to give monthly reports in Aymara and Quechua.

Translated from La Razon

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