May 13, 2021

The President of Bolivia cites health and the economy as a priority, without referring to the elections

The interim president of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez, highlighted health and the economy as her priorities on Monday, in the face of the coronavirus emergency, without referring to the pending elections in the country.

Áñez gave a televised message to mark the 211 anniversary of the uprising in the Bolivian region of Chuquisaca against the Spanish colony, known as the First Libertarian Cry of America.

The message reiterated health as a priority to combat COVID-19, which so far has left 250 dead and 6,263 positive cases in the country.

In addition to the economy, as from June 1, when the quarantine is expected to be lifted, it is planned to promote a series of government plans to get out of the “economic crisis” derived from the situation due to the coronavirus, he stressed.

“The lack of money, the lack of work and in some homes the lack of food,” are consequences of this crisis, he said.

The transitory president expressed her regret for “things that have not turned out in the best way”, during the state of sanitary emergency declared in the country since last March 22.

As well as its commitment to correct errors and fight corruption, although it did not expressly cite the case for which a former minister has decreed preventive detention, for the allegedly overpriced purchase in Spain of respirators for patients with COVID-19, in the biggest scandal in the six months he has been in power on an interim basis.

The speech, however, did not refer to the elections, which were scheduled for May 3 but were postponed without a date when the emergency was declared in the country, although Áñez repeated that they were his priority when he temporarily assumed power in the past November.

The Bolivian Parliament, with a majority of Evo Morales’ Movement to Socialism (MAS), enacted last April 30, against Áñez’s will, a law that gives a maximum period of ninety days to go to one, but it was appealed by the interim government and in any case it is the electoral body that must set the date.

The extension of the quarantine until May 31, which entails restrictions on leaving home in a country where many people make a living every day on the street, and the absence of a date for the elections generate protests in Bolivia, of which the transitory Executive accuses the MAS, while this party attributes them to mismanagement and an attempt to cling to the power of Jeanine Áñez.


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