Senate Approves National Census Law in Bolivia

Bolivia’s Senate approved this Tuesday a law calling for the national census, which had already received approval in the Congress and which ended the 36 days of violence by the opposition, headed by the Civic Committee in the city of Santa Cruz.

The population census, which determines the distribution of resources between the country’s regions, must be carried out every 10 years and was initially scheduled for November 16, 2022, since the last one was in 2012. However, the Government of Luis Arce postponed it to 2024 for technical reasons. After weeks of conflict, the main opposition parties came to accept the postponement of the date, but demanded a law that would fix it.

The initiative is called the Law for the application of the results of the Population and Housing Census in the financial and electoral spheres, and establishes that it is based on the official population data of the Census that will be issued by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

The Executive Branch will carry out the distribution of resources beginning in September 2024. Additionally, the law determines that the National Institute of Statistics (INE) will send the official population data from the Census to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal “so that it may prepare the bill for the distribution of seats, in accordance with article 146 paragraph V, VI and VII of the Political Constitution of the State and the Electoral Legislation in force, which would be applied in the next General Elections in the Plurinational State of Bolivia”.

The bill was approved on Saturday by more than two thirds of the Legislative Assembly. The Pro Santa Cruz Committee decided to lift the indefinite strike that last 36 days and resulted in countless acts of violence by the far-right opposition that were involved.

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