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Author`s name Alex Naumov

Evo Morales inaugurates constitutional assembly to “re-found Bolivia ”

Havana , Aug 7 (ACN) President Evo Morales acknowledged Sunday that the Constituent Assembly is the maximum authority in Bolivia and called upon all popular sectors represented in that forum to re-found the country.

In his speech at the Constituent Assembly installation ceremony held in Sucre, Morales dismissed the idea that the forum is only to make reforms saying "it must have all powers," above the president, the parliament, the judicial power or any other entity, Granma newspaper reported.

Morales brought to the forefront the subject that is likely to become the big issue for the debate of the 255 delegates elected last July 2: if the Assembly should be originating and have full powers, or if it should be limited to modifying the country's constitution without substantial changes.

"We are not talking about a simple reform; we are talking about the re-foundation of Bolivia ," said Morales, when he noted that for a simple reform, it would have been enough for a legislative decision and would have not been necessary to elect a constituent assembly."

After warning that some sectors might want to boycott the assembly, and to undermine the prestige of its members, he noted that his party, Movement towards Socialism (MAS), and all popular sectors should unite, setting aside partisan differences.

In his address to assembly members and foreign guests, Morales said in Spanish, Aymara and Guarani "the great day has come" for the vindication of the rights of the indigenous peoples.

Morales said the historically plundered natural resources should be returned to state hands and never again be privatized. He said he is personally also opposed to even giving temporary operating contracts for their exploitation.

The president underscored that the majority of the delegates to the Constituent Assembly are poor and that many live in villages without electricity or live in huts. He warned the international community that if the social and economic problems of the indigenous population are not resolved the development of Bolivia will not be achieved.

"He told delegates at the ceremony in the city of Sucre : "I really feel that right here starts a new Bolivian history, a history where there is equity, a history where there is no discrimination."

Hernan Etchaleco

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