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Bolivia on the brink after another autonomy vote

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Bolivia on the brink after another autonomy vote

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Another Bolivian province has voted in favour of autonomy from the rule of President Evo Morales. That’s the prediction of exit polls in the province of Tarija. It appears four out of five people have said ‘yes’ to local rather than national government.

But Morales has slammed the ballot as ‘illegal’.

A total of four Bolivian provinces are seeking to break away. It would effectively cut the country in half. Tarija has 85 percent of the country’s gas reserves. Support for Morales is concentrated in the poorer highland areas.

He has now put his Presidency on the line by calling his own referendum on his handling of the crisis.

“The people will say: “Continue the changes or not. That will be decided on August 10th,” Morales said.

He has not spoken to the leaders of the four rebel provinces for more than a month. He says they are trying to hog Bolivia’s economic resources for themselves.