Bolivia's referendum sees low turnout 2008-05-06 12:48:25   Print

    LIMA, May 5 (Xinhua) -- The autonomy referendum held in Bolivia's richest province of Santa Cruz Sunday saw a low turnout, according to reports from Bolivia's administrative capital La Paz.

    A turnout of 55-60 percent were registered in more than 600 precincts while in San Julian and Cuatro Caladas, the turnout was zero.

    Meanwhile, clashes during the referendum between supporters of President Evo Morales and his opponents left one person dead, 35 injured and 40 detained.

    President Evo Morales said in a national broadcast after the poll "This illegal and unconstitutional vote didn't have the success hoped for by certain families."

    Morales also called for dialogue with opposition governors seeking greater political and economic autonomy from the government.

    The referendum's promoters had said the proposed autonomy was approved by at least 70 percent of the voters.

    Morales said, the referendum was not valid because it was not authorized by Congress or the electoral authorities.

    Santa Cruz produces some 30 percent of Bolivia's gross domestic product and its soy and cattle barons are hesitant to share their wealth with poor Indians.

Editor: Sun Yunlong
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