Bolivian TSE Postpones General Elections Again – October 18

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) of Bolivia officially announced this Thursday the postponement of the general elections scheduled to begin on September 6, Telesur reported.

The announcement made at a press conference by the head of the TSE, Salvador Romero, specifies that if a second round is necessary, it will be made on November 29. The TSE board of directors was appointed by the de facto government of Jeanine Anez a few days after the coup d’etat against Evo Morlales when she sent most of its members to jail.

During the press conference, Romero argued that the measure responds to a “consensus” among different political factions in the country, given the increase in cases of Covid-19 in Bolivia.

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However, the postponement of the electoral process has been a demand from the right-wing groups that are preparing for the race but lack popular support. In particular, figures linked to the coup d’état against Evo Morales, such as Luis Fernando Camacho and Jorge Quiroga, have argued about the health crisis in the South American country as a reason for the postponement.

In contrast, former President Evo Morales had pointed out hours before the TSE announcement, that “a postponement in the election date will only harm the people due to the [coup’s] observable ungovernability, the uncontrolled pandemic, and the economic crisis.” Morales accompanied his statement on Twitter by a poll in which 72 percent of those surveyed express their willingness to vote on September 6.

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Morales himself reacted this Thursday to the announcement of the Bolivian Supreme Electoral Tribunal. The former president described the entity’s decision as “illegal and unconstitutional.” “Laws 1297 and 1304 determine the terms for the elections to take place. The only State Organ that can modify this term is the Plurinational Legislative Assembly,” he added on his twitter account.

For the former Bolivian president, the de facto government led by Jeanine Áñez “wants to gain more time to continue the persecution against social leaders and against MAS-IPSP candidates”, just at the moment when the candidate for the Movement for Socialism (MAS) Luis Arce leads the polls.

Finally, the Bolivian TSE official specified that the new authorities elected on those dates would take office next December.

Featured image: File photo.

(Ultimas Noticias)

Translation: OT/JRE/EF