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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 January 2008, 04:57 GMT
Morales defends Bolivian reforms
Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks at the National Congress in La Paz on Tuesday
Evo Morales said there was room for everyone in his revolution
Bolivian President Evo Morales has defended his first two years in office, saying his government's reforms are irreversible.

He said there was room for everyone in what he called his "democratic and cultural revolution", but only if Bolivians were united.

"There's no turning back on the path we started upon two years ago," Mr Morales said in a televised address.

But he avoided mentioning the sometimes violent opposition to his reforms.

And he largely ignored a feud with provinces demanding autonomy.

Room for everyone

Only if we're united can we make the deep changes that people want
Bolivian President Evo Morales

Bolivia's first president of indigenous descent was speaking to Congress on Tuesday in a lengthy speech marking the second anniversary of his taking power.

He cited the nationalisation of the energy industry as a key success.

"There's room for everyone in this revolution," said Mr Morales. "And only if we're united can we make the deep changes that people want."

The president lauded the setting up of a Constituent Assembly, even though its draft constitution was approved by parliament without the presence of any opposition members.

That sparked a drive for greater independence in four of Bolivia's nine provinces and a stand-off with the central government.

During the speech, which lasted for several hours, the president also praised advancement in literacy rates and health, while criticising slow progress in building houses and roads.

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27 Jun 07 |  Country profiles

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