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Residents of Santa Cruz voted for the "Nation of the plains"

May 5 2008

The results of the Sunday referendum in the Bolivian department of Santa Cruz found that more than 85% of the inhabitants of the region's wealthiest countries want to Autonomy, said on Monday the French media.

The referendum on autonomy Department designated local authorities against the wishes of the country's president Evo Morales, whose supporters have repeatedly stated intention to disrupt the referendum. The reason for the protests and grievances of the opposition forces was a change late last year, Bolivia's constitution, aimed at redistribution to poorer regions. More than a million people in rich department of Santa Cruz, where is produced a third of gross national product of Bolivia, have decided on the future of the department.

The positive response of the population of Santa Cruz in a referendum concerning autonomy could create a precedent for similar referendums for at least five other lowland departments - Beni, Pando, Tarija, Cochabamba and Chuquisaca. Here are the main natural gas reserves, produces 80% of the GDP of Bolivia and lives 58% of the population of this Latin American country. Elected in 2005, the first in the history of Bolivian President-Indian, Evo Morales believes that holding a referendum on autonomy rebellious Department "illegal and unconstitutional."

The main differences between central and regional authorities in the country associated with the new constitution the distribution of revenues from gas exports. The political crisis gripped Bolivia at the end of last year, when the deputies of the constitutional assembly of the six richest departments of the country refused to participate in the review and approval of a new basic law, arguing that the new draft constitution infringes their rights.

At the same time the governors of these departments have called for the introduction of autonomous control in their areas. The vast majority of people in the rich department supports the idea of autonomy, secession from the country and create a new public education "A Nation Plains, RIA News .

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