Evo Morales and his ongoing reelections

The Bolivian president created controversy, once again, in his quest of being reelected

Evo Morales and his ongoing reelections

Leer en Español: Evo Morales: reelección sin fin

The opposition in Bolivia formally rejected the legal loophole that President Evo Morales, through his party's lawmakers, presented to the Constitutional Court to authorize him to run for a fourth consecutive term in 2019. The 2009 Constitution does not allow endless reelections and the president lost the endorsement in 2016 disqualifying him from the running. For the legislators of MAS, Movement to Socialism, the idea is to stop applying the rules of the constitution that limit the number of times one can be in a government job, not only the president but any position involving popular vote.

Former President Jorge Quiroga, leader of the Christian Democrats, the second opposition force in the legislative branch, thinks that President Morales’s political party "proposes to establish a dictatorship like that of Nicolas Maduro and become like Venezuela. Since the return of democracy in 1982, this is the first government that wants to maintain itself in power for years to come".

For David Ramos, head of the ruling party in the legislative, the possibility of being re-elected " is a human right” . In a press conference, Ramos said that the quest for reelection is given "citing the San José Pact on human rights to facilitate the indefinite re-nomination of the president, vice president, governors, mayors, and legislators”. However, Ramos assures that it is not the only option he has in mind. If the court does not vote in favor, the constitution could be modified in the assembly, convene another referendum, or that the current president resign his presidency prior to finishing his mandate in order to be able to be participate in the elections.

The Plurinational Constitutional Court must accept the request of the MAS; they have a period of 45 days to give a response. But for Quiroga, “if the Court considers the appeal valid, it would be reforming the Constitution, because it would eliminate several articles and they have no authority to do so. Only the Constitution can be reformed through a law, a citizen's initiative or a Constituent Assembly". The opposition fears that if the Morales lawsuit is accepted, he will remain in power forever.

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, referred to the topic through his twitter account and stated "Evo Morales should respect the popular decision that said NO to re-election. No judge can erase the opinion of the sole sovereign, the people”. For the Bolivian president, this publication demonstrates the persecution suffered by different regimes right on the continent.

Evo Morales won his first election in 2005 with 54% of the votes, he won again the position in 2009 with 64%, and returned to be reelected in 2014 with 61%.

 

Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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