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Home >> World
UPDATED: 14:31, June 12, 2005
Situation returns to normal in Bolivia
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The situation in Bolivia is returning to normal after the appointment of former Supreme Court President Eduardo Rodriguez as a caretaker president, reports from Bolivia said Saturday.

Demonstrators have begun lifting roadblocks, operations at 27 airports have come back to normal and calm has apparently returned in the western cities of La Paz and El Alto.

For three weeks, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in La Paz and other cities demanding the nationalization of the gas and oil industry and a more equitable distribution of wealth.

Authorities said fuel supply in La Paz, Bolivia's administrative capital, was resumed Saturday after demonstrations were partially suspended in neighboring El Alto. Both cities have experienced social turmoil in recent weeks.

Road transportation has been restored in other cities in the country and Bolivians are coming back from abroad.

In Santa Cruz, farmers have peacefully abandoned several oil wells they occupied last week.

Rodriguez has vowed to hold early general elections in his inauguration speech on Friday. However, he did not set a date for the polls. The constitution stipulates that under current circumstances, new elections must be held within six months.

"I'm convinced my term in office has to do with an overhaul of the system and will be a brief term."

On Saturday, Rodriguez appointed new military and police commanders. He is also expected to appoint cabinet ministers soon.

The opposition, including the leader of the opposition party Movement Toward Socialism, Evo Morales, has called on people to "keep watching" the development of presidential actions.

And many demonstrators said they would go back to the streets if the new president does not call an assembly to rewrite the constitution and move toward gas nationalization.

Miguel Zubieta of the mineworkers' federation said: "We didn't get anything specific on the key issues of nationalization of oil and gas."

Source: Xinhua

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