Six laws authorize President Arce to rule by decree

Six laws give President Luis Arce the power to govern by decree and to politically control promotions to general in the Bolivian police and also in the armed forces.

In the economic field, the President can amend the following laws by decree: Law 1405 of Official Statistics, 1398 of the Commercial Register, 1407 of the Plan for Economic and Social Development. In the social sphere, Arce offers the possibility of changes from 1390 to strengthen the fight against corruption.

The rule, which bears the number 1405, is intended to regulate the compilation of official statistics of the Plurinational State of Bolivia by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

Senator Lindaura Rasguido of the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) assured that the six laws – five are in force and that of the armed forces is in the Senate – anchored in the constitution. “We are going to reach consensus with the people and indeed some of them, like the Economic and Social Development Plan, although already approved, will be reviewed by President Luis Arce himself with the sectors that oppose them. Proof of this was the meeting with the mayors this week, ”said the legislature.

Article 19 (I) of this regulation gives the executive the only key to establish the rules for the certification of visits considered official.

“The institutions at the central level of the state that are considered to be the compilers of official statistics must have the INE certification of the methodology and the procedure for compiling statistical data. The certification must guarantee the quality of statistical production in accordance with the provisions of the Supreme Decree, ”says the enacted regulations.

The Law on Business Registration, also enacted by Arce, gives the Ministry of Productive Development the power to set up a body dependent on the executive branch to perform the registration functions for all companies in Bolivia. In addition, it replaces Fundempresa and, in accordance with the National Statistics Law, imposes sanctions and denial of registration on companies that do not meet the requirements.

The first transitional provision states that the creation, organization, operation and funding of the new public body will be entirely dependent on the executive and will be regulated “by a supreme decree proposed by the Ministry of Productive Development and Plural Economy”.

Then there is Law 1407, which contains the plan for economic and social development through 2025. In light of the observations, President Luis Arce agreed to a meeting with the mayors of the capitals and El Alto to discuss their powers and autonomy. However, this ordinance also empowers the government to govern by decree.

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The sixth article states that “the adjustments to the Economic and Social Development Plan 2021-2025 will be made in accordance with the provisions of Article 32 of Law No. 777 of January 21, 2016 of the Comprehensive Planning System of the State SPIE”. “. This article states that “partial, additional, or formal changes to the development plans are approved by the Supreme Decree.”

Another norm that can be changed by decree is to strengthen the fight against corruption. The purpose of this law is to strengthen the mechanisms and procedures established under the Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz Law on Combating Corruption, Illicit Enrichment and Property Investigation, the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure for Investigations, Prosecutions and Sanctions acts of corruption committed by officials and former officials and former officials, among others.

The law opens up the possibility of carrying out absenteeism proceedings – which were declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court by decision 0012/2021 – and defines the figure of the effective employee, i.e. whistleblowers in cases of corruption will become whistleblowers in cases of corruption with the termination of the proceedings against you in exchange for the provision of Information. In terms of content, it also stipulates that the strategy can be changed by a supreme decree.

Law 1387 on the career of generals and promotions of the Bolivian police stipulates that the police authority, through the government minister, is dependent on the president. Therefore, this standard specifies that the police command is led by a civilian: “The police command is composed of the following authorities: Minister or Government Minister, General Commander of the Bolivian Police, Deputy Commander and Chief or Head of State Major of the Bolivian Police and NCO of the Bolivian Police Personnel” .

In the case of the Bundeswehr, it is the government’s responsibility to regulate, with which – according to the opposition – decisions are passed on to the executive. The pro-government senators said the decision was made together with the military commanders.

In this context, Senator Rodrigo Paz of the Citizens’ Community (CC) said that these norms were applied to three large areas. The legislature has confirmed that there are those who affect the economic sector, those who want to control society, and those who lead to the administration of the law enforcement officers.

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“Some are transversal. In any case, the government creates a bunch of laws that have a common theme that you can control the economy, society and law enforcement through decrees. It’s been very well thought out, ”said Paz.

As an example, the fitter mentioned that this mechanism is already evident. “The governor of Santa Cruz (Luis Fernando Camacho) has arrived in the city of Tarija, there is not a single policeman and they are throwing eggs at him. The brawl against the attackers comes and that’s where the police mysteriously storm in, half a block from the square. But since it is administered by the minister, the command is political. There is no longer a performance society, ”he said.

Paz added that “the MPs and senators of the MAS have given the executive power through these laws to amend the laws by decree as they see fit. They kill the power of the assembly debate, the representation of the departments, which is a kind of betrayal of the members of the ruling assembly to the regions they have chosen to strengthen the party; that means to the government and the state, ”said Paz.

For her part, Senator Centa Rek of the Creemos Alliance argued that the protest was against the entire “package of laws” approved by the ruling party in the plurinational legislative assembly, rather than against a single specific rule.

“All laws have the same design and pursue the same goal. They all have the same hidden card: the fact that the president has the option to govern by decree, to make changes by decree, is a cancellation of the legislature that we cannot accept, “said Rek.

Senator Rasguido claimed that “In 1386, which was eliminated, was destined to fight the legitimation of illegal profits, smuggling, corruption and other crimes, but as the opponents defended these groups, the norm was abolished. You betrayed the Bolivian people with an unjustified mobilization ”.

The official assembly member assured that the other laws observed will be agreed with the sectors in the respective ordinance.

Law 1386 also provides in one of its annexes the possibility of changing the regulations by decree. A nine day strike was held and Arce was able to overturn the law.


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