Bolivia’s lower house greenlights bill paving way for new elections & barring Morales
Bolivia’s Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the country’s legislature, has approved a new bill that effectively voids the result of the October election, which saw deposed leader Evo Morales win by a 10-percent margin. It sets the stage for a new poll.
Earlier on Saturday, the Exceptional and Transitory Regime Bill was unanimously approved by the Senate, and will now go to the self-appointed ‘interim president’ Jeanine Anez for signing.
Shortly after the draft law was approved by both chambers, Anez announced she would promulgate the bill at 10am local time on Sunday.
Under the proposed law, Morales will be ineligible to stand for election, as it bars any candidates who have already served two terms from running for office. Morales was forced to resign following his victory in the October 25 election, after opposition claimed that the vote was rigged, citing delays in the ballot counting process. While Morales, who was seeking his fourth term in the office, promised to hold new elections, the military forced him to step down in what the de facto ousted socialist leader later described as a coup d'etat. Fearing for his life, he fled to Mexico, and now faces accusations of terrorism from the Bolivian government, which he vehemently denies.
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