Bolivian Parliament gives govt 120 days to hold general election

Sucre: The Bolivian lower house of parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, on Saturday unanimously adopted amendments to the draft bill on holding general elections, setting a period of 120 days after the election of the leadership of the supreme electoral tribunal.

“The Chamber of Deputies passed the draft bill ‘on an exceptional transitional regime for holding general elections’ after elaboration and approval of the general provisions and details of the draft bill,” the chamber tweeted.

Thus, the maximum period for holding a new presidential election in Bolivia will be 140 days after the signing of the document by Interim President Jeanine Anez. The lawmakers took an extra 20 days to elect the leadership of the supreme electoral tribunal, which serves as the election commission.

Anez has said she will sign the document on Sunday, and thus, the general elections will be held no later than April 12.

The clarification of the bill, published by the country’s Senate, the upper house, states that the bill prohibits the nomination of persons who had previously occupied the presidential post for two consecutive terms. Thus, it becomes legally impossible for Ex-President Evo Morales to participate in the upcoming elections.

The bill annuls the results of the general elections held on October 20, 2019.

Morales stepped down on November 10 and fled to Mexico after his re-election to a fourth term prompted protests. Most of Bolivia’s senior officials have resigned as well. The senate second vice speaker, opposition lawmaker Jeanine Anez declared herself interim president. Morales has characterized the situation as a coup, with his supporters protesting against the new interim authorities.