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Cablegate: Mas Moves to Squash Capital Issue

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #2251 2282009
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 162009Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4675
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 7006
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4370
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 8255
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5494
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2718
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 2896
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4796
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5354
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9962
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0483
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS LA PAZ 002251

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON BL
SUBJECT: MAS MOVES TO SQUASH CAPITAL ISSUE


1. (SBU) On August 15, Constituent Assembly members from the
ruling party Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) submitted a
resolution removing from the agenda of the Constituent
Assembly the issue of where Bolivia's capital should be
located. Voting in a block with opposition members
representing La Paz, the MAS members passed the resolution by
simple majority, 134 votes out of 234. Opposition members
without ties to La Paz declared the decision illegal, because
it did not receive a two-thirds majority of the vote.
Supporters of the capital's move to Sucre (in Chuquisaca
Department) took to the streets in protest and have declared
a 24 hour strike. In the sometimes-violent protests, two
reporters were harassed while La Paz Constituent Assembly
members hid in government buildings for safety. Opposition
politicians are planning a hunger strike.

2. (SBU) The MAS's handling of the vote on the
capital--pushing through the MAS agenda with no compromise
and no two-thirds majority--is raising further concerns about
the role of the Constituent Assembly and whether it has any
chance of achieving its goals. The head of the main
opposition party Podemos's delegation in the Constituent
Assembly stated that the MAS is trying to "definitively bury
the Assembly" while the chief of the National Revolutionary
Movement, a smaller opposition party, warned that the
Assembly "is on the brink of hell, on the brink of the
abyss."
GOLDBERG

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