UN General Assembly head voices support for Bolivian president on hunger strike
The President of the UN General Assembly Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann called on Friday the international community to support Bolivian President Evo Morales who has entered the second day of a hunger strike to pressure the congress to approve an electoral law, Xinhua reported.
D'Escoto said that Morales faces obstacles from the opposition to approve a new electoral law for the elections in December.
"With deep concern I have received information that the approval of the Electoral Regime Law to make possible the general elections in December 2009 has been blocked in the congress," D'Escoto said.
The new electoral Law includes issues like the electoral census, constituencies, parliamentarian seats for indigenous groups and the vote of Bolivians outside the country.
Bolivian opposition lawmakers did not agree with the law because it gives 14 places in the congress to minority indigenous groups. However, those changes were included in the new Constitution, recently approved by people's referendum with more than 60 percent of the votes.
The opposition congressmen left the congress on Thursday during the debate on the electoral law. According to the opposition, they left the debate because Garcia called to vote the law when many congressmen were not present.
"It is regretful that despite 61.4 percent of the votes in Bolivia ratified on January 25, 2009 in a people's referendum for the new political Constitution, the opposition continue refusing to follow the work that the Electoral National Court promoted in an important democratic action."D'Escoto said.
Bolivian President of the congress and Vice President Alvaro Garcia urged on Friday the opposition congressmen to return to the congress and added that they can not escape "from the democracy and from their Constitutional obligation," and "they can not leave the session without voting the law." He also told the opposition congressmen that "the people pay you to stay here and continue working."
Meanwhile, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said Friday in a newspaper article he has "no doubt at all that Evo (Morales) will be successful" in his hunger strike.
Morales is supported on his strike by some 20 leaders of labor, peasant and regional organizations."It is impossible to finish the hunger strike, first they (opposition) have to respect the people's will," Morales said.