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Bolivia: Blogger Named to National Electoral Court

The Bolivian blog community is generally very supportive of its members. Recently, a well-known blogger was named to a high ranking position within the Bolivian government. Normally, a pat on the back and other displays of congratulations would have accompanied this new appointment. However, when the blogger in question was named to head up the National Electoral Court (CNE for its initials in Spanish), many bloggers began to question how appropriate was this new member of the CNE.

When José Luis Exeni was appointed by President Evo Morales, very few bloggers questioned his abilities or experience to head up this institution. Most wondered whether Exeni was a member of the Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS), the ruling party, and whether that would cloud his views toward future electoral processes. They point to his participation in the Montoneros Movement, which is a collection of bloggers that are publicly supporting the controversial Constitution passed in the Constituent Assembly. This Constitution is tentatively set to be passed or rejected by a national referendum, which the CNE will oversee.

Some have pointed to these close ties to the MAS party as somewhat worrisome. Miguel Buitrago of MABB believes that having sympathies from the Electoral Court will favor Morales in the long run.

Exeni's place in the Bolivian blogosphere is well known, and he was invited to be a guest writer at the Bolivian blog community Blogs de Bolivia [es]. His blog Fadocracia [es] currently is closed and there is no sign of previous entries. Shortly after Exeni was named to his new post, Sebastian Molina provided a screenshot of Fadocracia, which showed it to be completely erased. However, days later it was restored to its current state.

Perhaps, the disappearance of his blog articles is a sign that Exeni is well aware of his need to be seen as impartial. Even though fellow blogger and friend Vero assures everyone that Exeni is not a member of the MAS party [es], others aren't quite so sure. Others comment that is is natural for human beings to have their own political opinions, and that outgoing CNE president Salvador Romero must have had his thoughts on the Constitutional proposal [es].

From the newspaper, La Razón:

Los medios le preguntaron qué opina sobre el proyecto de Constitución aprobado por el MAS y sus aliados. Exeni evitó contestar. “Hasta hace tres días con todo gusto le hubiese dado mi punto de vista.”

The media asked his opinion regarding the Constitutional proposal approved by the MAS and its allies. Exeni declined to comment. “Three days ago (before being named to the post), I would have gladly provided my opinion.”

1 comment

  • Yes, Exeni’s nomination did stir some controversy among the Bolivian literati. One should remember, of course, that the division between “politician” and “intellectual” (or “academic”) is a loose one in Bolivia. But while Exeni has leftist sympathies, he’s at least a real intellectual (w/ a PhD from FLACSO). I’ve run into him through his work at ILDIS (the German SDP-funded institute co-directed by Carlos Toranzo), he was a participant in the first Goni administration (in Participacion Popular & the CNE), and has written extensively. In other words: he’s certainly not a hack.

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