Bolivian president vows to continue hunger strike

Evo Morales on hunger strike at the presidential palace in Bolivia's capital, La Paz.
Bolivian President Evo Morales vowed Friday to continue his hunger strike, initiated Thursday at the presidential palace, until the opposition-led Senate sets a date for general elections that are expected to give him another five-year term.

Morales called on opposition members — who walked out of the Congress in mid-session late Thursday — to pass the election law, the government-run Bolivian Information Agency said. The opposition-controlled Senate has yet to pass a law setting a December date for the elections as called for within 60 days of the passage of a constitutional reform in January. Morales, who was awakened by reporters as he slept on an improvised bed on the floor of the Government House, said he was “going to continue the hunger strike,” the Bolivian Information Agency said. “I feel that the opposition that does not understand the desire of the people is unfeeling,” he said. The nation’s first indigenous president said the action reminded him of members of Congress in other times — who thought only of “how much money they were going to get before thinking of the people.” He reminded reporters that he carried out an 18-day hunger strike in 2002, when he was expelled from Congress.