Divided congress calls for vote on new Bolivian constitution

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February 29, 2008 05:36

A bitterly divided Bolivian Congress has called for a nationwide vote on a new constitution drafted by supporters of President Evo Morales to grant greater political power to Bolivia's long-oppressed indigenous groups. Lawmakers from Morales' Movement Toward Socialism party passed the referendum Thursday night in a raucous session, effectively closing two months of failed negotiations with opposition groups that refuse to recognize the new framework - and that walked out on the constitutional assembly last year. Protesters outside the congressional building blocked most opposition lawmakers from attending the session. The new government framework will go before voters later this year.


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