The conflict between Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, and the judicial system continues (previous post). Yesterday, the head of the supreme court resigned. The other court ministers have stated that they’ll resist the executive branch. But a MAS spokesperson threatened to topple the court through social pressure. This is the same kind of threat made January against Cochabamba’s prefect; clashes there left three dead & several injured in January.
This is really the most troubling thing about the current government. Its most frequently used tactic is social mobilization, which is more a tactic of opposition rather than of government. But they’re unwillingness to cede any political terrain suggests that MAS is unwilling to entertain the notion of political defeat. Having seized the reigns of power, MAS consistently seems to want more. And any institutionalized opposition is threatened with a battering ram of “social mobilization”—clearly an intimidation tactic—even while any counter-mobilization is dismissed (apparently only groups allied w/ MAS count as “social movements”).
Adam Przeworski once defined democracy (minimally) as “a system in which parties lose elections.” That is, if parties in power demonstrate that they’re not willing to lose an election & walk away from power, then one seriously questions that regime’s democratic credentials. If this continues, one is left to wonder whether any elections in 2008 would be “free & fair” in any meaningful sense.