Following the mass resignation of the entire Bolivian cabinet on Monday (26 November), the country was once again thrust into political crisis -- the second in less than three months.
SV President Banzer and General Alberte Guzman Soriano and aides posing for photographers ZOOM IN TO CU GEN. Guzman
SCU Minister of Minerals Raul Lema Patino
SV Education Minister Dr. Marie Serrate Ruiz
SV Finance Minister Jaime Quiroga Mattos
SV ZOOM IN TO CU Victor Paz Estenssoro head of the National Revolutionary Movement
SV ZOOM IN TO CU Trade Minister Dr. Alfredo Franco Guachalla
Initials AE/3.23 AE/3.35
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Background: Following the mass resignation of the entire Bolivian cabinet on Monday (26 November), the country was once again thrust into political crisis -- the second in less than three months.
The cabinet resigned following President Hugo Banzer's announcement that he would not stand in the presidential elections which he has called for next year. The reason given for the resignations was that the cabinet ministers wanted to give the President a free hand in choosing a new ministerial team.
The new cabinet includes former Bolivian President Victor Paz Estonseero, who heads the left-of-centre Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (MRN). It was the MNR that declined to back General Banzer in next year's elections after the rightwing Bolivian Socialist Falange nominated him as its candidate. But now that the President has announced he will not run in the elections, it seems that the split between the two political parties backing his military government may be resolved.
Also in the new cabinet -- that was announced on Wednesday (28 November) -- is General Alberto Guzman Soriano as Foreign Affairs Minister, Raul Lema Patino as Mines and Metals Minister, Dr. Mario Serrate Ruiz as Education Minister, Dr. Alfredo Franco Guachalla as Minister of Trade and Unions, and James Quiroga Mattos as Finance Minister.
It was just last September that President Banzer reshuffled the 18-man cabinet, bringing in five new ministers, in a bid to stabilise the political strife that has been a dominant part of Bolivian politics. In the past few months General Banzer has alleged a series of leftwing plots against his Government.