On October 25, 2003 Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez placed before the people of Colombia a referendum of questions that he hoped would endorse his leadership and increase his power. Presented as an ‘anti-corruption’ initiative, most of the questions sought to gut the public sector of the country and facilitate further privatizations. Conveniently, one question would have made it possible for a president to be re-elected after one term, opening the way for Uribe’s own re-election in 2006.
What is happening in Bolivia?
A massive popular mobilization is demanding the resignation of the President, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, and several ministers, including the Minister of Defense. On October 16 hundreds of thousands of demonstrators filled the main square in La Paz, Boliviaâ€™s capital. The presidential palace, guarded by tanks and trenches, is surrounded by demonstrators.
After 8 years in office, the Ontario Tories were finally thrown out on October 2, 2003. They were replaced by a Liberal majority government that won 72 seats to the Tories’s 24. The social democratic NDP, after a strong campaign, won 7 seats. As is virtually always the case in North America, the electoral outcome was a poor reflection of the popular vote, which would have given the Tories and the NDP more seats. The Liberals took 47%, the Tories 33%, and the NDP 16%.