Hal Weitzman of the FT writes:
FT.com / World / Americas - Bolivia’s Morales may extend term of office: The governing MAS party’s representatives in an assembly that is rewriting Bolivia’s constitution have proposed that the new document allow presidential re-election. The MAS also confirmed that Mr Morales will be a candidate for the presidency in elections likely to take place next year, under new rules currently being discussed in a constitutional assembly. That appeared to contradict statements made last week by the president, who suggested he would not stand in the 2008 elections. But MAS politician Carlos Romero on Friday clarified that Mr Morales would also be allowed to stand for a third term as president in elections in 2013.
Mr Romero told the EFE news agency that “2008 would not be a re-election, but a new election” under a new constitution, implying that Mr Morales could seek re-election for another five-year presidential term, which would end in 2018. Venezuela’s constitution of 1999 allowed presidential re-election, as did a Colombian constitutional reform of 2004. Both countries re-elected their serving presidents last year by wide margins. The MAS proposal echoes the rule of Alberto Fujimori, the authoritarian leader of Peru from 1990 to 2000, who was able to override a presidential two-term limit to stand in the 2000 elections thanks to the congressional passage of a “law of authentic interpretation” which suggested that Mr Fujimori had in fact only run for the presidency once under the existing constitution.
It also heralds constitutional reform to come in Venezuela, where Mr Chávez’s supporters will push for a total ban on term limits as part of their forthcoming proposals for constitutional reform...