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Bolivia's Morales Leads March for Constitution


Bolivian President Evo Morales led tens of thousands of supporters Monday on the final stretch of a week-long march to demand a constitutional referendum.

Marchers began in the highland town of Caracollo and are now in the capital La Paz.

Mr. Morales wants a referendum on the controversial draft constitution to be held early next year. He must first win the support of two-thirds of Congress to have the vote held. His right-leaning opponents dominate the Senate.

Mr. Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, says the proposed constitution would grant greater political and economic power to the country's long-oppressed indigenous majority. Its members form the base of support for his socialist programs.

Mr. Morales wants to break up the large landholdings of farmers in the east and redistribute the property among indigenous groups. Many of the eastern farmers are of European descent.

Political leaders in the wealthier, resource-rich eastern provinces oppose the constitution, saying it does not recognize their demands for greater autonomy.