President welcomes recall referendum and puts his mandate in the hands of the people

La Paz, 08 may (ABI) .- On Thursday night, President Evo Morales Ayma welcomed the passing of the Popular Mandate Recall Law by the National Senate, through which – he stated – the people will once again have the right to decide whether to continue the process of change and justice undertaken by his administration, or to return to the past.

"To our great satisfaction, we've received the approval of the National Senate for the Referendum on the Recall of the President, Vice-President and Prefects of the nine Departments," Morales said at the beginning of his message to Bolivians.

Morales, accompanied by his full cabinet, pointed out that the referendum would deepen democracy and that the people will decide, with their vote, if his government is complying with what the country wants.

On December 5, 2007, President Morales proposed to all nine prefects of the country to join him in submitting their mandates to a Recall referendum.

In the press conference, the President stated that the decision was taken in order to give the people the final word on whether they agree with the process of change or prefer the neoliberal system.

"I want to propose to Prefects both conservative and not conservative, to the nine Prefects of the country, let us together submit to a recall referendum, and let the people say if they are for the changes or not," Morales stated.

Morales said that the Recall Referendum has to do with preserving the unity and integrity of the country, a respect for legality, for the rule of law and above all respect for the National Congress.

He explained that the law was put forward so that democracy could be deepened in Bolivia, and so that the future of the country would be decided through the ballot box, within the framework of the Constitution and national laws.

In stark contrast to this position, politicians, and civic and business leaders of Santa Cruz carried out an illegal consultation on May 4 on autonomous statutes for their Department that ignored the validity of the country's Constitution.

Three other regions, Beni, Pando and Tarija, are now preparing their own regional consultations, with the same anti-Constitutional and illegal form as the leaders of Santa Cruz.

Morales thanked the people for their support, and for having elected him President of the Republic with a mandate to make profound changes in democracy. He explained that in two years and four months of government, despite some problems and mistakes, he feels that has served the country. Therefore he said that if the people, through the ballot box, decide he should continue as Head of State, he is ready to continue serving the majority.

President Morales also demanded the National Congress approve the Law Against Corruption and other bills which are currently "sleeping in the Senate."

"I am very happy, very satisfied. Something I wanted to happen will finally take place. We turn it over to the Bolivian people now," concluded the President.

Republished from Support for Bolivia

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