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Bolivian President to Ask Congress to Approve Early Elections

Bolivian President Carlos Mesa says he will ask Congress to approve early presidential elections in August to replace him.

Mr. Mesa said on national television Tuesday he made the decision after failing to stop anti-government road blockades over a controversial energy sector reform law, and after Congress did not support an energy bill he proposed.

President Mesa said he will send the request to Congress Wednesday. Bolivia's next presidential elections are scheduled for 2007.

Mr. Mesa submitted a resignation letter to Congress last week following several days of anti-government protests, but Bolivian lawmakers rejected his offer.

The demonstrations have been sparked by a proposed law on taxing foreign oil firms that critics say is too lenient.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters.