Bolivia's Lower House Rejects Senate's 44 Hydrocarbons Bills

Bolivia's lower house has rejected the 44 bills approved by the senate that aim to rectify flaws in various contracts signed with foreign hydrocarbons companies under the country's nationalization plan, government news agency ABI reported.

The lower house approved in mid-March the "short law" to correct errors in 15 of the 44 contracts negotiated with hydrocarbons firms as part of President Evo Morales' nationalization program. The senate later chose to pass 44 separate bills.

Specifically, the decision to reject the senate bills was made because "they are not legal" and have no relation to the short law, said ruling MAS party lawmaker Jose Pimentel of the lower house.

The issue will be broached in a national congress session on April 16 and Pimentel expressed his hope that opposition parties would support the short law.

The rejection marks another delay in bringing into effect the contracts negotiated with foreign oil companies as part of Morales' move to nationalize hydrocarbons assets.

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