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Bolivian president seeks to bolster power with vote

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Bolivian president seeks to bolster power with vote
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President Evo Morales is staking his position on a referendum set to split his divided nation still further. His vice-president and nearly all the regional leaders are also under threat as the country votes on whether to confirm their right to rule.

But four key regions which recently held their own referendums, and are demanding political and economic autonomy, have said they will not pay any attention to the vote.

The prefects of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija say the vote of confidence is illegal.

Many followers of the president, most of them, like him, from Bolivia’s indigenous poor community, have been physically attacked for their political leanings.

Morales has focussed his political priorities on the lower classes, raising benefits and funding it by taxing big business.

Such policies do not sit well in richer parts of the country. If Morales loses he will have to call a general election.