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Montevideo, November 13th 2018 - 02:48 UTC

Bolivia's big business calls for Mesa's resignation

Tuesday, May 31st 2005 - 21:00 UTC
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The leading private sector organization in Bolivia called on President Carlos Mesa to resign given the magnitude of protests in La Paz which have virtually paralyzed his administration and Congress.

"The president of Bolivia must step aside and so avoid that the current conflict situation of the country ends asphyxiating all of us", said Roberto Mustafá president of the all powerful Private Entrepreneurs Confederation of Bolivia.

Mr. Mustafá revealed that the decision was agreed and sponsored by the nine business organizations which make up the confederation.

So far only the Santa Cruz Industry and Commerce Chamber had called on President Mesa to leave office, last week.

However Mr. Mustafá did not refer to the constitutional process in the event of Mr. Mesa's resignation who would be succeeded by the president of Congress, Senator Hormando Vaca Diez, and in second place by Mario Cossio, president of the Lower House.

The organizations which have taken to the streets of La Paz and have set siege to Plaza Murillo where Congress and the Executive Palace are seated reject point blank the name of Senator Vaca Diez as a future president or even interim president.

Mr. Mustafá suggested a way out could be for the Supreme Court Justice president Eduardo Rodriguez to take over the government and call a new election in 150 days time. The election would include president, vice-president, Senate and Deputies for the constitutional mandate of five years.

Bolivia is divided between the poor western provinces, mostly inhabited by Indian population who are pressing for the nationalization of the oil and gas industry, and the rich west provinces with most of the country's gas reserves who are satisfied with foreign investors in the industry.

The leading city Santa Cruz is pressing for an autonomy referendum and doesn't discard outright secession if the political crisis continues.

The Bolivian Army so far has remained loyal to the Executive branch and sacked junior officers who were calling for a Junta made up of civilians and officers.

In October 2003 the hydrocarbons controversy and violent street rioting ended with the ousting of elected president Sanchez de Lozada, replaces by then vice-president Carlos Mesa.

Categories: Mercosur.

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