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Bolivia's electoral court approves Evo Morales' re-election bid

Despite a constitutional ban and referendum against such a move, Bolivia's president will go for another term in office.

Wednesday 5 December, 2018
People from different regions of Bolivia march toward La Paz against the nomination of Bolivian President Evo Morales as candidate for reelection for the October 2019 national elections, in Villa Remedios, Bolivia, on December 5, 2018. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) authorised the nomination of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party of Evo Morales for a fourth term.
People from different regions of Bolivia march toward La Paz against the nomination of Bolivian President Evo Morales as candidate for reelection for the October 2019 national elections, in Villa Remedios, Bolivia, on December 5, 2018. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) authorised the nomination of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party of Evo Morales for a fourth term. Foto:AIZAR RALDES / AFP

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A Bolivian court has given a green light for President Evo Morales to seek re-election, despite a constitutional ban and referendum against such a move.

His opponents say the move is unconstitutional. 

Electoral Tribunal President María Eugenia Choque announced the ruling Tuesday night. The election for a five-year term is set for November 2019.

"The full chamber of the Supreme Electoral Court, by virtue of the jurisdiction and competence exercised by law," approved nine candidates for primary elections in January, including Morales, according to the decision, which was read out at a press briefing.

The court decision comes with opposition to Morales's candidacy building. Protest marches were heading to the capital, and a general strike has been called for next Thursday.

Bolivians rejected a constitutional amendment to allow more than two consecutive terms in a 2016 referendum with 51 percent of the vote, but Morales' ruling party convinced the constitutional court last year to rule his candidacy was legal. It said term limits violate citizens' human right to run for office.

Morales once said he would happily give up the office, but now argues his supporters are pushing for him to stay.

Morales took office in 2005 and supported a 2009 Constitution that allowed only two consecutive terms — though he later argued the restriction took effect only after the new Constitution was adopted.

He was re-elected in 2009 and 2014.

- TIMES/AFP/AP

 

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