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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 11:04 GMT
Bolivia to scrap Indian ministry
Evo Morales, Bolivia's President-elect shakes hands with indigenous leaders
Indigenous people represent more than 60% of the population
Bolivia's President-elect, Evo Morales, says he will scrap his country's indigenous affairs ministry.

Mr Morales, an Aymara Indian who on Sunday will become his country's first indigenous president, said the ministry amounted to a form of discrimination.

He said the ministry for women would be abolished for the same reason, adding that his cabinet would include Indian leaders and women.

In Bolivia, indigenous people represent more than 60% of the population.

Someone said that when we Quechuas and Aymaras were in government we'd make a ministry for white people, but we won't discriminate
Evo Morales
About two-thirds of the country's estimated 3.9 million Indians are among the poorest 50% of the population, according to the World Bank.

Mr Morales has said in the past that one of his priorities will be to seek more rights for Bolivia's indigenous majority.

"Here, the indigenous people will be ministers," he said on Wednesday.

"Someone said that when we Quechuas and Aymaras were in government we'd make a ministry for white people, but we won't discriminate."




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