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Six Bolivian Provinces Strike in Protest Against Constitutional Reforms


Residents in six of Bolivia's nine provinces have staged a general strike to protest President Evo Morales's plans to reform the constitution.

The demonstrators paralyzed several cities Wednesday as they took to the streets to voice their opposition to the proposed changes. Organizers of the strike have said it is aimed at denouncing the framework for the new constitution that was approved by leftist allies of the president on Saturday.

President Morales says the constitutional changes will give Bolivia's indigenous majority more political power. Critics say the changes unfairly reduce the power of the country's nine provinces.

Under the new constitution, Mr. Morales would be allowed to seek re-election as often as he likes.

The president's allies hold a majority in the constituent assembly that approved the framework for the new document. Most opposition delegates boycotted the vote.

The assembly has until December 14 to complete its work. The draft constitution will be put to a referendum, but no date has been set.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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