Bolivian voters have backed a new constitution which will see its indigenous majority gain greater political power.
The adoption of the charter will also strengthen leftist President Evo Morales grip over Bolivia’s economy and allow him to run for re-election. With exit polls showing around 60 percent of people voting ‘Yes’ in the referendum, Morales hailed the result. “Thanks to the sovereign will of the Bolivian people, thanks to the conscience of the Bolivian people, we have built a new Bolivia with equality and opportunities for everyone,’‘ declared Morales. The opposition has accused Morales of trying to grab more power. Despite several concessions running up to the election, many mixed race people in Bolivia’s eastern lowlands voted against. Exit polls show 4 of Bolivia’s 9 provinces had a ‘No’ majority. The new constitution aims to give Bolivia’s indigenous Indians more seats in Congress and greater clout in the justice system. It will also recognise their spiritual and linguistic heritage.