Bolivian President Evo Morales Thursday set the date for a national referendum on a controversial new constitution, which threatens to further split the country.
Morales will seek approval for the new constitution, a key element of his reform agenda, on December 7. An election of prefects for the regions of La Paz and Cochabamba as well as local representatives was scheduled for the same day, the dpa reported.
The constitutional draft, which Morales says is to improve the lot of the country's impoverished indigenous majority in the east of the country, was approved last year in an elected assembly boycotted by the opposition.
However, five prosperous western regions, populated by descendants of immigrants, are fiercely opposed to the new constitution, and strive for far-reaching autonomy from the central government.
Earlier this month, the leftist president won a recall vote by a resounding 67-per-cent majority, regarded as an endorsement of his plans to go ahead with his the new constitution.