In Bolivia, the armed forces on Friday (13 June) quashed rumours of a pending military coup with an announcement that they would support President Lidia Gueiler's decision to go ahead with elections on June the 29th.
GV: National electoral ???our court, La Paz hit by bomb
CU ZOOM OUT: Damage to building TILT UP TO entrance
GV: Damaged windows (3 shots)
SV: Soldiers outside the building ZOOM OUT AND PAN TO nearby building with broken windows (2 shots)
GV TILT UP: Newspaper building. (2 shots)
CU: Candidate for La Paz, Deputy Oscar Kelemberger, speaking in Spanish
GV: El Diario newspaper building
SV: Posters at building entrance
SV INTERIOR: Banner TILT DOWN TO hanger strikers. (4 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Bolivia, the armed forces on Friday (13 June) quashed rumours of a pending military coup with an announcement that they would support President Lidia Gueiler's decision to go ahead with elections on June the 29th. The announcement came only five days after the armed forces demanded the postponement of the elections, saying the country was not ready for them. This sparked rumours of a military takeover. But, in the capital, La Paz, a bomb explosion has badly damaged the National Electoral Court.
SYNOPSIS: The bomb was through to have been left in an attache-style brief case inside the court.
It badly damaged the entrance to the court, and smashed nearly all the windows.
The bombing came a day before the Chief of the Armed Forces, General Armando Reyes Villa, said the military would respect President Gueiler's decision to hold Presidential and general elections later this month. Civilian politicians of all parties except the extreme right had rallied to support the president's decision.
In the offices of the newspaper "Edificio Esperanza", angered members of the right-wing Socialist Falange Party have been on a hunger strike to protest against the decision to hold elections. One of their candidates, Mr Oscar Kelemberger, said they wanted the United States ambassador, Mr Marvin Weissman, deported. Mr Weissman angered the army with his support for this month's elections. Mr Kelembe??? said the American Ambassador's action was against national dignity. He said the hunger strike would continue until Mr Weissman left the country.
At the offices of another newspaper "El Diario", another group of Falange supporters are on a hunger strike. They are also calling for the expulsion of the American ambassador.
Bolivia is a chronically unstable country with a long history of military coups. A democratic process was started in 1978 to establish an elected civilian Government, but, so far, no presidential candidate has been able to win the absolute majority needed for election. Mrs Gueiler, Bolivia's first woman president, was chosen as a compromise, temporary leader last November, and she is not standing again.