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Cablegate: Social Sectors to Oversee Constituent Assembly

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DE RUEHLP #2037 2081424
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P 271424Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0078
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6017
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3335
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7186
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RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 8917
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS LA PAZ 002037

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/AND

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON BL
SUBJECT: SOCIAL SECTORS TO OVERSEE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY


1. (SBU) Summary: On July 23, President Morales announced
plans to have social sectors oversee the Constituent
Assembly. Morales' statements were strongly criticized by
opposition parties and citizen groups. While his recent
declarations might be an attempt to reach out to social
sectors that have been historically excluded, they have an
anti-democratic ring that bears close monitoring. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) On July 23, President Morales met with the leaders
of various social movements and called upon them to "oversee"
the Constituent Assembly. Morales warned that assembly
members should only use their authority to carry out the will
of the people, and said that the social movements would be
"attentive" to their decisions. At the meeting, Morales also
gained support for his proposal to elect an indigenous woman
as president of the Assembly. (Note: Margarita Teran, a
former leader of a women's cocalero union, is rumored to be a
likely candidate. End Note.) Debate continues, however,
over the proper voting procedures to elect the Assembly's
president. The MAS prefers a simple majority vote, while the
opposition prefers a two-thirds vote. Morales' Movement
Toward Socialism (MAS) party will meet in Sucre on July 27
and 28 to elect a president and present its agenda.

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3. (SBU) Morales' announcement that social sectors would
oversee the Assembly was strongly criticized by opposition
parties, citizen groups, and the business community, which
referred to his actions as "undemocratic" and "worrisome."
Some expressed concern over statements by MAS Deputy Cesar
Navarro who said that the popular bases could dissolve the
National Congress if they wished. Others warned of the
dangers inherent in placing too much power in the hands of
social movements affiliated with the MAS.

4. (SBU) Comment: Many social sectors believe the MAS has
not done enough to include indigenous and campesino leaders
in government initiatives. As in December, MAS candidate
lists in July contained few indigenous representatives (some
say only six indigenous persons were elected to the
Assembly). While some view the MAS' attempt at inclusion,
however late, as positive, the implied threats of street
pressure have an anti-democratic ring that bears close
monitoring.
GREENLEE

© Scoop Media

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