The Chargé in Bolivia (Muccio) to the Secretary of State

No. 529

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a news clipping from Ultima Hora of February 27, 1936, and translation,3 containing the text of the Presidential Decree dated February 27, 1936, convoking national elections for May 31st, next. These elections were prescribed by the Act of the Bolivian Congress of August 4, 1935. (See Legation Despatch No. 405, dated August 6, 1935.)3 The election will be for the President and Vice President of the Republic and for national representatives to a Constitutional Assembly.

La Republican organ of the Republican-Socialists or “Saavedrists”, has been carrying on a strenuous campaign condemning the Government for the continuance of the “State of Siege” and of the war-time restrictions. Under the existing censorship of the press and restrictions against the right of assembly and freedom of speech, it contends, the political parties cannot freely prepare and organize for the approaching national elections.

There is considerable prediction that these elections will not take place. Many contend that the prisoners are not likely to return in time to register at least thirty days before election day as required by the Bolivian electoral law. Such failure to return in time would be the cause of agitation against the holding of the elections until the prisoners do return as there is considerable feeling that it would not be fair to hold the elections without the prisoners present to vote.

A more prevalent feeling is that prior to the date set for the elections, Colonel David Toro will have taken over the Government. In fact, many in La Paz were surprised that President Tejada Sorzano was permitted to return to La Paz from Sorata where the President had gone to pass the carnival festivals.

Respectfully yours,

John J. Muccio
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.