Bolivian Electoral Court Rejects Attempt to Annul Evo Morales’ Party from Participating in Elections

The president of Bolivia’s Supreme Electoral Court, Salvador Romero, has announced he is going to call for general elections before next Monday, January 6th reported local newspaper La Razon.

“The deadline is January 6th so we are going to call for elections and release the electoral schedule and timeline,” he said at a press conference. According to the reformed Act on Exceptional and Temporary Regime to hold the 2020 General Elections, the time to call for elections was extended 10 more working days.

Furthermore, two appeals demanding to annul the legal entity of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) the party of ousted President Evo Morales were dismissed by the Electoral Court.

The Supreme Court dismissed these demands unanimously as none of them fit into any of the reasons to disqualify political organizations from legal entry to run in the elections, explained the electoral body in a statement released by Bolivian newspaper Los Tiempos.

MAS would therefore be allowed to take part in the 2020 electoral processes according to the Electoral Court. New general elections are expected for next June with a view to restore the constitutional order following supposed irregularities in the October elections and the resignation of President Morales on November 10.

The ruling was issued based on a detailed analysis and founded on Bolivian legislation and taking into account international doctrines and norms.

“Those who demanded the prohibition of  MAS are coup mongers, anti-democratic, inheritors of (dictator Hugo) Banzer. The only thing we are demanding is that the new members of the Supreme Electoral Court enforce the law without bias towards any party or citizen group,” posted Morales in his Twitter profile from Argentina.

Requests were based on alleged irregularities in the October elections, but neither  Law 026 on Electoral Regime nor the Law on Political Organizations envisage the illegalization of political parties out of election crimes. Besides these allegations would be applied individually.

Evo Morales was also charged for usurping the role of President after inaugurating a public work from his refuge in Argentinean territory on December 23rd, reported local media. A lawsuit was filed by lawyer Omar Duran to a Bolivian court, stating that Morales committed the crime by inaugurating by phone in a public market in the Bolivian department of Tarija.

Morales is also expected to be charged for the crimes of terrorism, insurrection or armed revolts against the State’s security and sovereignty as he did not recognize Jeanine Añez as president and for calling on coercive measures to destabilize the current Bolivian government, Duran said.

La Jornada

Translation by Resumen Latinoamericano, North America Bureau