Sustaining that Bolivia is on a course toward "collective suicide," as a result of continued road blockades and a lack of congressional support for the fuel law, Bolivian president Carlos Mesa presented a proposal to the legislature and the nation to hold presidential elections and a Constitutional Assembly on August 28, 2005.
Nine days after President Mesa offered his resignation to the nation’s congress, the country remained blockaded and divided. In spite of an agreement signed by the traditional parties and Mesa, including the rapid approval of a new fuel bill that contains terms proposed by the administration, congress failed to approve the law. Social sectors demanding 50 percent oil royalties for Bolivia blocked the nation’s highways at over sixty different points. Although Mesa had promised the population that district attorneys would arrest blockaders to allow free transit without violent police or military intervention, the attorney general’s office refused to invoke the directive, stating that carrying out blockades and protests were not grounds for detention. In effect, after threatening to leave office in an attempt to forge consensus in the deeply divided Bolivian congress and society, Mesa felt that all sides in the conflict continued to impede his initiatives.