Bolivian protesters march against Morales reelection bid

22 Feb 2019 / 09:54 H.

LA PAZ: Opposition supporters and community organizations took to the streets of several Bolivian cities on Thursday to protest against President Evo Morales’ plans to stand for a fourth term of office.

Demonstrators were out on the streets of major cities such as La Paz, Sucre, Santa Cruz and Potosi on a day that marked the third anniversary of a referendum in which Morales was defeated in his bid to secure public support to remove term limits.

Bolivia’s 2009 constitution, promulgated by Morales himself, limits a president to two consecutive terms of office.

However, despite his 2016 referendum defeat, his government rejected the result while the constitutional court, filled with Morales loyalists, ruled that it was his human right to seek reelection.

The leftist leader is due to stand in October’s poll in a bid to extend his reign.

In power since 2006, he is already Bolivia’s longest serving president, as well as the first from an indigenous community.

In the opposition stronghold of Santa Cruz, protesters were due to collect signatures to send to the presidents of Colombia and Brazil, whose countries are the guarantors of Bolivia’s 2009 constitution.

The opposition says Morales, then serving his first term, promised the guarantors we wouldn’t seek another in return for opposition support for the new constitution.

Yet he has twice since successfully run for reelection. — AFP

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