Bolivian gas referendum, 2004

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A referendum on natural gas reserves was held in Bolivia on 18 July 2004.[1] Voters were asked five questions on the government's policy on natural gas, with all five approved.[2]

Background[edit]

Holding a referendum on the use of the country's gas reserves was one of the first promises made by President Carlos Mesa upon assuming the presidency in the aftermath of the Bolivian Gas War of October 2003 that saw his predecessor, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, forced to resign and to flee the country.

The referendum was largely intended to quell the political unrest seen during the Gas War. Fears of an uprising led the Bolivian government to take measures essentially forcing the population to vote (announcing fines and other penalties for those who refused or boycotted) and warned that protesters against the referendum would be imprisoned.

Results[edit]

Do you agree that the Hydrocarbons Law (No. 1689), enacted by Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, should be repealed?

Choice Votes %
For 1,788,694 86.6
Against 275,742 13.4
Invalid/blank votes 614,082
Total 2,678,518 100
Registered voters/turnout 4,458,293 60.1
Source: Nohlen

Do you agree that the Bolivian State should recover ownership over all hydrocarbons at the wellhead?

Choice Votes %
For 1,913,642 92.2
Against 162,130 7.8
Invalid/blank votes 594,359
Total 2,678,518 100
Registered voters/turnout 4,458,293 60.1
Source: Nohlen

Do you agree that Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos should be re-established, reclaiming state ownership of the Bolivian people's stakes in the part-privatized oil companies, so that it can take part in all stages of the hydrocarbon production chain?

Choice Votes %
For 1,793,594 87.3
Against 260,610 12.7
Invalid/blank votes 616,079
Total 2,678,518 100
Registered voters/turnout 4,458,293 60.1
Source: Nohlen

Do you agree with President Carlos Mesa's policy of using gas as a strategic recourse to achieve a sovereign and viable route of access to the Pacific Ocean?

Choice Votes %
For 1,055,529 54.8
Against 870,772 45.2
Invalid/blank votes 743,805
Total 2,678,518 100
Registered voters/turnout 4,458,293 60.1
Source: Nohlen

Do you or do you not agree that Bolivia should export gas as part of a national policy framework that ensures the gas needs of Bolivians; encourages the industrialization of gas in the nation's territory; levies taxes and/or royalties of up to 50% of the production value of oil and gas on oil companies, for the nation's benefit; and earmarks revenues from the export and industrialization of gas mainly for education, health, roads, and jobs?

Choice Votes %
For 1,179,893 61.7
Against 731,021 38.3
Invalid/blank votes 758,353
Total 2,678,518 100
Registered voters/turnout 4,458,293 60.1
Source: Nohlen

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, D (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume II, p133 ISBN 978-0-19-928358-3
  2. ^ Nohlen, pp140–141

External links[edit]