Friday, August 24, 2007

Bolivia finds that flushing out corruption doesn't come without a price

Bolivian MPs trade punches in row over control of judiciary

Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent
Friday August 24, 2007
The Guardian

Bolivia's congress this week descended into a bout of fighting, with MPs hitting and kicking each other in an argument over control of the judiciary. The brief but bruising fight was broadcast on television and boosted widespread tension concerning ambitious attempts by President Evo Morales to overhaul the state.

The violence flared in the lower house when opposition congressmen tried to stop supporters of Mr Morales from bringing corruption charges against the country's highest court.

The president says constitutional court judges have overstepped their power by trying to block four of his judicial appointees. But Mr Morales's opponents accuse him of a power grab.

The two sides hurled insults and cups of water before flailing at each other with their fists. Commentators lamented that Bolivia had joined the small and unwholesome list of nations with parliaments that doubled up as boxing rings.

But with street protests disrupting the capital, La Paz, the scenes inside the chamber were not so far off representative democracy. Bolivia is polarised, with indigenous highland dwellers rallying to the president's socialist banner, and wealthier lowland cities opposing his radical agenda. Huge and sometimes violent demonstrations over the past year have fed a febrile atmosphere.

Original article posted here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck Bolivia!