June 24, 2021

Parliament adds uncertainty about the date of the elections in Bolivia



The process for the elections in Bolivia, postponed by the state of sanitary emergency in the country, experienced a new chapter of uncertainty on Wednesday, when it returned the ballot to the electoral body in Parliament to set a date.

Elections were set for next Sunday, May 3, but were postponed without a date when the interim government declared the emergency for the coronavirus, with a quarantine that has been extended at least until next May 10.

The Supreme Electoral Court proposed a bill to Parliament in which it proposed calling the ballot boxes between June 28 and September 27 to elect a president, vice president and national parliamentarians.

But the Chamber of Deputies, with the majority of the Movement to Socialism (MAS) of Evo Morales, in a first step of the project approved that the electoral body should say the date, within ninety days from the approval to the law, which now passes to the Senate.

The MAS went first in the polls before the elections were postponed and before treating the project, alleged internal differences emerged about the advisability or not of delaying the electoral appointment more or less, later denied by party voices such as the Speaker of the House of Deputies, Sergio Choque.

In addition to the fact that Evo Morales himself accused of pressure on a parliamentarian related to the interim government to postpone the elections as much as possible.

The session of the deputies lasted eight hours, after the appearance of the president of the electoral body, Salvador Romero, to present the bill, and now the uncertainty arises as to whether the Senate will have the margin to follow the process before Sunday, since the Friday is a holiday on May 1.

Shortly before the deputies’ vote, the country’s interim president, Jeanine Áñez, in a message to the country announced that the quarantine extends from April 30 to May 10, but with the possibility of extending it even longer by regions and municipalities as the situation evolves by COVID-19.

Bolivia has to elect a president, vice president, deputies and senators after the elections last October, in which Morales was declared the winner, were annulled, between allegations of fraud in his favor and reports from international organizations about irregularities in the elections.

The then president announced that he was resigning a fourth consecutive term because he was forced by a coup to deprive him of a new electoral victory and remove him from power amid pressure from the military and police, among others.

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