13 de diciembre de 2019
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Hispanic World

Bolivia's interim president signs law convening new elections

La Paz, Nov 24 (EFE).- The law to convene new presidential elections in Bolivia was promulgated on Sunday by the country's interim president, Jenine Añez, who said that the vote would be "clean, fair and transparent."

 Bolivia's interim president, Jenine Añez, in La Paz on Nov. 24, 2019.  EFE-EPA/Rodrigo Sura

Bolivia's interim president, Jenine Añez, in La Paz on Nov. 24, 2019. EFE-EPA/Rodrigo Sura

La Paz, Nov 24 (EFE).- The law to convene new presidential elections in Bolivia was promulgated on Sunday by the country's interim president, Jenine Añez, who said that the vote would be "clean, fair and transparent."

Añez emphasized her government's commitment to clean elections, given the "fraud" that the opposition has claimed was perpetrated in the Oct. 20 vote in which Evo Morales was re-elected, a balloting that was annulled by the law promulgated on Sunday.

"God be thanked for this day," were the first words Añez said after signing the law in the government palace in La Paz.

"It has not been easy to build consensus," she admitted, although the parliament unanimously approved the law so that Bolivians "may elect without fraud, deception and blackmail" a new president, along with other officials.

The consensus was reached in the face of the "obscure machinations (by) the government of former President Evo Morales," the provisional president said.

"God always provides, the time for reconciliation has come. May God bless all of Bolivia," she said, in closing her remarks.

One of the first elements of the new law, which is exceptional and temporary, is to annul the vote in which Morales was declared to have won a fourth consecutive term in office.

Another is to establish that the next election will be held within 120 days, starting from the point that a new electoral organizational body can be elected by the Bolivian parliament.

The upcoming elections will be held according to a new framework, after the earlier vote sparked complaints of irregularities, and with all parties that want to participate.

One of the key articles of the law is that winning candidates may not serve for more than two consecutive terms.

The opposition agreed to the earlier election despite the fact that they felt Morales's candidacy was illegal because it did not respect the two-term limit, even though his re-election candidacy has been approved by the former electoral body.

Many of the former electoral body's members were taken into preventive custody by Bolivian authorities so that the alleged fraud perpetrated in the Oct. 20 vote could be investigated.

The law also temporarily suspends other rules to make holding the upcoming vote easier.

Añez signed the law in the presence of Bolivian Senate president Eva Copa, who is a member of Morales' MAS socialist party, which holds a majority in parliament.

The law was approved unanimously on Saturday, with all MAS and opposition lawmakers in both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies voting in favor of it.

Although no date has been set, it is anticipated that the vote for president, vice president and lawmakers will be held in early 2020.

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