Evo Morales promulgates laws to convene referendums and condemns U.S. interference

La Paz, Bolivian President Evo Morales today promulgated legislation to convene a referendum on the new political constitution of the state and another related to land tenure, recently approved by the National Congress.

The president publicly ratified those regulations, guarantees of unity and equality for all Bolivians, as he said.

Morales also signed a law that disallows departmental referendums on autonomy convened from May 4 by the opposition prefectures (governors) of Santa Cruz and three other departments, PL reports.

In his address to thousands of campesinos, women, miners, indigenous groups, students and other representatives of social movements, meeting in Murillo Plaza, Morales affirmed that the laws on constitutional referendums will change the direction of Bolivia.

Morales stated that those consultations, to be made conjointly on May 4, will allow for profound social transformations via a new constitution that includes all social sectors and regions.

The head of state explained that not all Bolivians support these changes, there are those who are defending their personal and family interests, and parties opposed to the Constituent Assembly and the new constitution.

"The task of all of us," he said, "is to mobilize, organize ourselves for national unity, for the dignity and sovereignty of all Bolivians, which is to pass the new constitution at the ballot boxes.

In that context he called on the opposition to participate in those elections and put forward proposals and alternatives to the profound changes in the country.

Yesterday the National Congress approved legislation convening the two referendums related to the latifundia and the constitution approved by the Constituent Assembly last December in Oruro.

The legislators also decided that only Congress can convene a departmental referendum, thus nullifying the call made by the authorities of Santa Cruz and Beni.

During the same event, Evo Morales condemned the attacks on his governmental action by the U.S. embassy since the new state political constitution was passed last December.

Morales noted that there are embassies who are involved in politics and not diplomacy.

He revealed that the Washington legation headed by Philip Goldberg has approached former indigenous leaders and NGO’s to mobilize against the executive.

He also affirmed that attacks aimed at destabilizing the country have increased since the new constitution established that there will never again be U.S. bases on Bolivian national territory.

Translated by Granma International

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