The Bolivian parliament has rejected a demand from military leaders that general elections, scheduled for later this month, be postponed for at least a year.
GV Presidential Palace in La Paz
GV PAN Emergency cabinet meeting
SV President Lidia Gueiler with senior politicians (3 shots)
CU PULL OUT Roman Catholic church TO wall slogans attacking U.S. Ambassador
GV & CU U.S. Embassy (2 shots)
SV Armed soldier outside Embassy
CU & SV PAN Anti-American placards (2 shots)
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Background: The Bolivian parliament has rejected a demand from military leaders that general elections, scheduled for later this month, be postponed for at least a year. Both Houses of Congress had ratified earlier resolutions that the elections for a president and 157 members of parliament be held as planned on the 29th of June.
SYNOPSIS: This call for a postponement brings to the palace of interim President, Lidia Gueiler, new fears of a military coup. She's already held an emergency cabinet meeting out has yet to reply directly to the armed forces.
President Gueiler is believed to have been urged by senior politicians to resist pressure from the military to call off the elections in favour of forming a Government of National Unity over the next year. Key armed forces officers have said any winner of this month's poll would be weak. Political analysts in La Paz believe the military want a larger share of Mrs. Gueiler's cabinet.
And a 72-hour deadline for the expulsion of the United States Ambassador from Bolivia has passed unheeded. But the Bolivian 2nd Army Corps which wants him out remains on what it calls "a state of emergency".
The American embassy has indicated for several months that its government is opposed to a military coup and Ambassador Marvin Weissman, has thrown his influence behind the elections.
This has prompted a mounting anti-American feeling among civilian right-wing groups in Bolivia. But so far pressure for the Ambassador's expulsion has found no support from the La Paz government.