Crisis in Bolivia: Evo Morales announces new elections

Finally Morales accepted the recommendations of the OAS after an audit that questioned the legitimacy of the elections on October 20.

Evo Morales.

Evo Morales. / Photo: REUTERS

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: Crisis en Bolivia: Evo Morales renuncia

"I have decided to renew all the members of the supreme electoral court," the Bolivian president said on television. The decision, after more than 15 days of demonstrations for and against him, was to "convene new national elections, which by vote, allow the Bolivian people to democratically elect new authorities."

The elections of October 20 had left a strange confusion in which the current government proclaimed victory in the first round. Due to the lack of clarity in the percentages and in the way in which the counting of votes was handled, the opposition was not happy and started protesting. On the one hand, they wanted a recount to take place and that there was a second round, where the opponent would have a greater opportunity to get Morales out of power. On the other hand, nonconformities were revived by the 2016 referendum, where Bolivia voted that Morales could not be reelected more, but continues to do so.

That is why Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS) announced since October 20 an audit committee that would review the actions of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. As a result of this, the OAS found “irregularities” in the scrutiny process, so its integrity was questioned.

Morales's response was to make the elections again from the beginning. That is, not only make a second round as was the request, but a first round with more options to vote. In the process, it will also members of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to ensure cleanliness in the count.

Read also: Crisis in Bolivia: the presidential dispute worsens

A day before the news were given, on Saturday, November 9, the president of Bolivia was in trouble. The protests continued and requested his resignation. This became the biggest political crisis he has had to live since he was in that position, even worse than when he ignored the results of the referendum. Morales, who had already said that the opposition was seeking a coup d'etat, said the same day that a police riot was another coup that was underway. After this crisis, Morales had called the opposition to dialogue.



For the next elections to be announced, it is expected that there will be a united opposition to get Morales out of power. For this, the most famous face is that of Carlos Mesa, who had been second in the voting and, had gone to the second round, would have been his opponent. However, previous elections have shown that in Bolivia opposition parties are also divided, which has prevented their union to elect a representative figure of all.

For the time being, the Parlameto of Bolivia is the relevant body to elect the new Supreme Electoral Tribunal to ensure clean elections. It is not yet known how long this could take or if the candidates would be the same.