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Bolivia

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  1. Bolivia Main Page
  2. Bolivia's First Indigenous President Asserts the Rights of the Native Population
  3. Constitutional Court Rules That Morales Can Seek Third Term
  4. Morales Embroiled in Controversy Involving NSA Leaker Snowden
Constitutional Court Rules That Morales Can Seek Third Term

In the spring of 2013, Bolivia's Constitutional Court ruled that President Evo Morales could run for a third term in the December 2014 elections. Even though the country's constitution only allows two consecutive terms, the court ruled that Morales's first term would not be counted because it predated Bolivia's current constitution, which was amended in 2009. The 2009 constitution limited both the president and vice-president to two consecutive terms. Opposition and critics said the ruling proved that the government controlled the court.

In May 2013, President Morales expelled the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID). Morales had threated to expel the agency for some time, accusing it in the past of funding groups that opposed his policies such as a planned highway through a rainforest preserve. A state news agency in Bolivia reported that the USAID was "accused of alleged political interference in peasant unions and other social organizations." USAID, which had nine American employees in Bolivia, had already reduced its presence in the country. In 2007, USAID had an $89 million budget for programs in Bolivia. However, the budget had been decreased to $17 million in 2013.

Meanwhile, on May 16, 2013, hundreds of teachers, miners and other workers marched into Bolivia's capital. It was the 11th day of demonstrations for higher pensions. Protestors asked for their pensions, which ranged from $21 to $28 a month, to be doubled. Protestors attempted to take over the plaza where the government was located and miners set off dynamite. Police fought off protestors with tear gas.

Next: Morales Embroiled in Controversy Involving NSA Leaker Snowden
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