Bolivian Prez on Hunger Strike Over Voting Law

Indigenous groups would gain—as would Morales, foes say
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2009 11:15 AM CDT
Bolivia's President Evo Morales drinks a beverage during a press conference on his second day of hunger strike, accompanied by Pedro Montes, leader of Bolivia's Worker's Central, today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Bolivia’s president has vowed not to eat until the country’s senate passes a law some say would boost his reelection chances, the BBC reports. “Faced with the negligence of a group of neoliberal lawmakers, we have to take this step,” Evo Morales declared. The opposition is blocking a bill to give more voting power to Bolivia’s indigenous ethnic majority by creating special electoral districts.

But one influential opposition member called the hunger strike “ridiculous” and vowed not to be swayed. “We think that the president is blackmailing via the strike,” he said. “It seems absolutely shameless to me.” Members of the president’s party said they support Morales, but they ruled out a solidarity strike that might bring the government to a standstill.