Bolivian Electoral Tribunal Blocks Morales’ Senate Candidacy

  • The president of the country's electoral tribunal, Salvador Romero, told the press in La Paz that there was no room for appeal to the decision.
  • "This is a blow to democracy," Morales tweeted from Buenos Aires about Thursday's decision.
  • A recent survey by pollster Ciesmori shows Morales' choice for president ahead in the polls.

Bolivia’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal rejected the senate candidacy of former President Evo Morales on Thursday, saying that he does not fulfill the requirement of permanent residence in the country. The court ruled on a series of candidacies, including that of Morales, ahead of national elections on May 3.

Evo Morales is a Bolivian politician and former cocalero activist who served as the 80th President of Bolivia from 2006 to 2019. On November 10, 2019, he resigned amidst significant unrest in the wake of a report by the Organization of American States alleging his government had rigged the year’s elections.

The president of the country’s electoral tribunal, Salvador Romero, told reporters that Morales did not meet the requirements to be a Senate candidate for his Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, which is currently leading in the polls. Romero, additionally told the press in La Paz that there was no room for appeal to the decision.

“This is a blow to democracy,” Morales tweeted from Buenos Aires about Thursday’s decision. “The members of the TSE (electoral tribunal) know I meet the requirements to be a candidate.” Morales insinuated that politics was the root cause of the tribunal’s decision.

Morales, Bolivia’s former president has been in Argentina since December, where he applied for asylum. From Buenos Aires, Morales leads the campaign of his party, the Movement for Socialism (MAS) for the elections in Bolivia. However, the candidacy of Morales’ choice for the nation’s presidency, Luis Arce, was accepted by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

The candidates needed to prove to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal that they have lived in Bolivia for five years, in the case of candidates for the presidency, and two years for anyone who wants to be a senator or deputy. Romero explained that, in reaching the final decision, aspects such as the residence listed on the candidate’s electoral roll, where he lives and his effective residence, were taken into account.

Jeanine Áñez is a Bolivian politician and lawyer who has served as a senator for Beni since 2010. In November 2019, following the resignation of Evo Morales, Áñez declared herself interim president.

Morales presented his candidacy for senator in the Bolivian region of Cochabamba, where he began his political career as a deputy in 1997, and where he voted in successive elections until last October. The former president was declared the winner in the 2019 election, which was later annulled amid allegations of electoral fraud in his favor, and allegations of irregularities in the process by international organizations.

Morales then announced his resignation on November 10, denouncing the events as a coup to overthrow him, under pressure from police and military, among others. The next day, he left for Mexico, where he received political asylum. After that, he went to Argentina, where he remains today.

Almost two months after Morales’ resignation in early January, the Supreme Electoral Court set the date for the new elections. The country’s current acting president, Jeanine Áñez , will also run for the nation’s presidency.

According to a recent survey by pollster Ciesmori, Arce leads the pack of presidential contenders with 31.6 percent of the vote among those who plan to participate in the election. He is followed by centrist candidate Carlos Mesa, with 17.1 percent, and Bolivia’s conservative interim leader Jeanine Anez, who has 16.5 percent.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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