On Tuesday night, the Bolivian Senate suddenly found itself with the needed quorum. Several opposition Senators had refused to meet in protest of several law proposals put forth by the ruling party MAS. Three substitute opposition Senators decided to attend the session to vote along government lines. Cries of foul rang, as some have accused the Senators of receiving bribes to change their votes. They were subsequently expulsed from their respective parties, as Miguel Buitrago of MABB writes in his blog update.
Among the laws passed by this surprise Senate were the approval of new hydrocarbons contracts, approval of the military cooperation between Bolivia and Venezuela, approval of the Budget, and the modifications of the INRA Law (Agrarian Reform law).
However, one of the largest pending issues is over the Constituent Assembly. The government believes that articles should only be approved by simple majority, which they presently retain. While the opposition demands that the law of Convocation should be respected and that 2/3 majority should be followed, which would ensure compromise and negotiation in the sessions. Blogger Sebastian Molina of Plan B (ES) showcased a graphic designed by his wife, which invoked this call for 2/3 majority. Others bloggers have picked up the graphic, such as Andres Pucci. He points out that even though MAS holds simple majority in this body, that they did not receive the majority in the elections. With the invalid and blank votes, they only managed to receive 42.2% of the votes emitted.