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Cablegate: Constituent Assembly: Seven Commissions File

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DE RUEHLP #1718/01 1761204
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251204Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4033
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6872
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4218
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 8101
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RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4681
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0107
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5217
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9815
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0375
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS LA PAZ 001718

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON PHUM KDEM BL
SUBJECT: CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY: SEVEN COMMISSIONS FILE
REPORTS

REF: A. LA PAZ 1625

B. LA PAZ 1570

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Summary
-------

1. (U) Despite a June 21 deadline only seven of the
Constituent Assembly's twenty-one commissions issued their
final reports. Of the seven, only the Coca and Rural
Development commissions have issued consensus reports, while
the other five commissions have each issued majority and
minority reports. In the commission "Vision for the Country"
the MAS employed its vote splitting tactic to control the
majority and minority report, a tactic the CA directive
declared was a violation of the voting rules (reftel A). The
MAS' Vision for the Country report is full of vague
statements including a proposal for an undefined fourth
branch of government. PODEMOS delegates won a small victory
in the Legislative commission as they were able to include
the moving of the Congress from La Paz to Sucre in the
minority report, thus ensuring the topic will be debated in
the plenary. While one-third of the commissions have
completed their work, the issue of autonomy and its
implications overshadow all of the CA's activities. Despite
their differences all the political parties, including the
Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), agree the CA should be
extended, although there is disagreement for how long.
Proposals range from two to four months beyond the current
August 6 deadline. End Summary.

----------------------
Vision for the Country
----------------------

2. (SBU) In the Vision for the Country commission the MAS
employed its vote splitting tactic to control the majority
and minority report, a tactic the CA directive declared was a
violation of the voting rules (reftel A). The majority
report articulates the MAS' theory for the new Bolivia but
spends little time defining the fundamental principles that
serve as the foundation of its vision. Article one of the
MAS majority report offers the nearly indecipherable
assertion that "Bolivia is a Unitary, Plurinational
Communitarian State, free, independent, sovereign,
democratic, social, decentralized, with territorial
autonomies, founded in plurality and political, economic,
judicial, cultural and linguistic pluralism." The terms
"plurinational" and "communitarian" are never defined.
However, the report's annex attempts to explain this "new
model" of government as an attempt to "decolonize" Bolivia
and allow for the peoples' "self determination".

3. (SBU) While the MAS proposal introduces the notion of
indigenous autonomies, it fails to explain what
responsibilities these autonomies will have and how they will
interact with the country's other forms of government
(municipal, departmental and central). The MAS proposal
recognizes universal suffrage via secret ballots, but also
states communitarian norms of representation will be
respected. Article four explains that the government will
consist of the traditional three branches (executive,
legislative and judicial) as well as a fourth branch called
the "Social Plurinational." MAS insiders have publicly
stated that this branch will consist of members of the social
organizations who will "supervise" the workings of the other
branches, but the MAS' official report does not explain the
new branch's composition and responsibilities. Perhaps
acknowledging that the MAS has not thought through how its
ideas will be implemented, an annex of the MAS' report
contains the phrase, "It shall be determined (in the future)
how the distinct levels of public administration and the
territorial autonomies are articulated."

---------------------------
Citizenship and Nationality

---------------------------

4. (U) The Citizenship and Nationality commission issued a
majority and minority report. The majority report (MAS
proposal) reduces the voting age to sixteen. The PODEMOS
report holds the voting age at eighteen. The reports also
differ on naturalization; the MAS proposal requires
foreigners to reside 6 years in country prior to
naturalization, while the PODEMOS proposal only requires two
years.

-----------------
Legislative Power
-----------------

5. (U) The MAS and the opposition could not reach agreement
in the Legislative Power Commission. The majority report
(MAS proposal) calls for a unicameral legislature with
directly elected representatives. The minority report
proposes to maintain the existing bicameral model. PODEMOS
delegates won a small victory in this commission as they were
able to include the moving of the Congress from La Paz to
Sucre in the minority report, thus ensuring the topic will be
debated in the plenary. The MAS has been trying to get the
issue of moving the legislative and executive branches to
Sucre off the table. The MAS argues the Sucre question is
merely a tactic by proponents of departmental autonomy to
disrupt the CA.

-----------------
Rural Development
-----------------

6. (U) Like the Coca Commission (reftel B) the Rural
Development Commission was able to reach consensus. The
commission's report proposes that the state should guarantee
food security and that the government has an obligation to
establish seed banks and other institutions that promote
agricultural production, especially for small farmers.

--------------------------------------
Boundaries and International Relations
--------------------------------------

7. (U) Although close to reaching consensus one issue divided
the MAS and opposition in the Boundaries and International
Relations Commission. The one article of discord centered on
the concept of giving Bolivian municipalities that border
other countries the ability to negotiate agreements with
neighboring foreign municipalities. PODEMOS favors giving
the municipalities the authority, the MAS opposes it.

----------------------------------
Economic and Financial Development
----------------------------------

8. (U). The MAS and opposition proposed vastly different
visions in the Economic and Financial Development commission.
The MAS proposes forming a "social communitarian" economy
and argues for respecting private enterprise when it
contributes to the economic and social development of the
country. The opposition proposal argues for respect of all
forms of ownership, individual and collective. The
opposition report also calls for refocusing the country's
economy from exporting raw materials to exporting value-added
products.

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Comment
-------

9. (SBU) The MAS' vision for the country leaves plenty of
room for further debate. More concretely, while one-third of
the commissions have completed their work, the issue of
autonomy and its implications overshadow all of the CA's
activities. Of the fifteen commissions that still need to

complete their work, most argue that one to two weeks is
sufficient, however the autonomy commission has not offered
any deadline. The MAS, proposal for indigenous autonomy
divides the commission on Natural Renewable Resources, Land,
Territory and the Environment as well as others. The MAS
wants to allow indigenous peoples to manage the resources on
their lands based on its as yet undefined indigenous
autonomous territories. The opposition wants to limit
indigenous resource exploitation to the already defined
(under law) Tierras Comunitarias del Origen (Original
Communal Lands). The MAS wants the presidency to hold on to
the hot issue of land titling, while the opposition wants to
transfer the authority to the departmental prefects. Despite
their differences all the political parties, including the
MAS, now agree the CA should be extended, although there is
disagreement for how long. Proposals range from two to four
months beyond the current August 6 deadline. End Comment.
URS

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