In Bolivia, leaders of the main political parties have expressed their support for the new government of President David Padilla Arancibia.
In Bolivia, leaders of the main political parties have expressed their support for the new government of President David Padilla Arancibia. General Padilla seized power in a bloodless coup on the 24 of November, ousting the four month old government of President Juan Pereda Asbun. General Padilla, heading a cabinet of young military officers, has promised to restore full democracy to Bolivia within a year. His announcement has been welcomed by political leaders.
SYNOPSIS: Dr. Hernan Siles Suaz of the Popular Democratic Union, predicted that all military regimes in South America would soon come to an end. Bolivia's new leaders, known as the "generalists", first came to public attention in 1974 when they staged an abortive coup against the then President, Hugo Banzer. Bolivia's last military leader, General Pereda, seized power after general elections were annulled because of allegations of Fraud on his behalf. Dr. Siles Suazo said that the Bolivian people had spoken out in favour of democracy in this poll although the result was disputed.
Dr. Siles Suazo stressed that his party had received help from social democratic parties all over the world. He supported the new government's declared intention to hold general elections next July and to hand over power to the winning candidate on the 6th August -- Bolivian Independence Day. the Generalists said they seized power to prevent conflict between the ruling armed forces and the Bolivian people.
A spokesman for the left-wing Bolivian Revolutionary Movement, Senor Jaime Paz Zamora, echoed Dr. Siles Suazo's support for President Padilla's coup. He said he thought the armed forces were an indispensable institution in the country, but that the military had a strictly defined place in government. He said that the coup by members of the armed forces, pledged to re-establish democracy, was indicative that Bolivia's new leaders were aware that the military should not have total control.
Before the recent coup, left-wing parties in Bolivia had been considering going underground to avoid any possible persecution from General Pereda's government. The new leaders are believed to have links with the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement, the fore-runner of Senor Paz's party, which seized power in 1952 and nationalised the mines and introduced universal suffrage. The Generalists have stated that they are in favour of conserving Bolivia's natural resources, allowing greater public participation in government and an end to financial dependence on foreign capital. The former President of Bolivia, Senor Hugo Banzer, has announced that he will be standing in next year's elections. General Pereda is still under house-arrest in his home near La Paz.