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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 March, 2005, 15:26 GMT
Bolivia press relieved at Mesa decision
Bolivian street vendors supporting Bolivian President Carlos Mesa
Despite the protests, Mr Mesa still retains indigenous support

Newspapers in Bolivia have let out a collective sigh of relief over the decision of President Carlos Mesa to remain in office after Congress voted to reject his resignation offer.

In the capital, La Paz, La Razon hails his decision as "a triumph of reason and democracy".

"At the end of an historic day, there remains a feeling of relief and hope and of certainty that our country's democratic vocation is once again able to overcome the detractors in our midst," it says.

La Razon praises "the exemplary behaviour of the people in supporting democracy", as well as the agreement between the president and MPs to introduce a law on taxing foreign energy firms, "which offers encouragement in tackling the country's pressing problems".

It also welcomes the willingness of Mr Mesa and Congress to work together in the national interest.

There is no doubt the president has emerged stronger
Los Tiempos

The Cochabamba paper Los Tiempos welcomes the agreement between the executive and the legislature as "a new opportunity".

"It is truly a new chance for Bolivia to put aside the harmful logic of conflict, confrontation and polarisation," it says.

Throughout the length and breadth of the country, Los Tiempos says, Bolivians have made clear their desire to "live in peace and within a state governed by the rule of law".

"There is no doubt the president has emerged stronger from these events," it says.

"Democracy in danger," is how one of La Paz's top selling papers, El Diario, describes the president's threat to resign.

Edge of an abyss
El Diario
It says Bolivia was brought to "the edge of an abyss" by certain sectors it characterised as having "a lack of civic responsibility, a lack of love for the fatherland, and above all, by a lack of education and culture".

In Santa Cruz, El Mundo views the meeting of Congress which rejected the president's resignation as "an opportunity to seal the dramatic destiny of a nation navigating through turbulent waters".

"In the hands of the men and women (of Congress) was the future of our country," it says.

A word of caution comes from the mining city of Potosi. El Potosi reports that although most political parties signed the accord with the president, the main opposition party, the Movement Towards Socialism, led by Aymara indian Evo Morales, refused to sign.

"Now, Evo is again aligning himself with the radical sectors to fight the government," the paper says.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Carlos Mesa gives his reaction to the vote of confidence



SEE ALSO:
Bolivian fuel protests escalate
22 Jan 05 |  Americas
Bolivia buses strike over subsidy
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Bolivia's gas fires new movements
17 Oct 04 |  Americas
Q&A: Bolivian gas protests
18 Oct 03 |  Americas
Country profile: Bolivia
06 May 04 |  Country profiles


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