The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is greatly encouraged by the agreements reached by Bolivia's Parliament this week to hold elections for President, Vice-President, Parliament and Prefectos (Regional Governors) in December 2005, followed by a referendum on regional autonomy and elections for a Constituent Assembly in July 2006.
He is also heartened that the majority of Bolivia's political forces have worked together to find a democratic solution to the political impasse in the country.
The United Nations remains committed to sending assistance to Bolivia in carrying out these important elections. An Electoral Needs Assessment Mission from the Department of Political Affairs will be visiting Bolivia in the coming days at the invitation of Bolivia's National Electoral Council. In this regard, electoral assistance was one of the recommendations made by Under-Secretary-General for Social and Economic Affairs José Antonio Ocampo, as a result of his recent visit to Bolivia on the Secretary-General's behalf.