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Bolivia judge confirms ex-president Morales cannot run for senate

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(FILES) In this file picture taken on December 29, 2019 Bolivian ex-president Evo Morales, exiled in Argentina, gestures before offering a press conference after holding a meeting with members of his Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) party to fix date and place to chose their presidential candidate for the Bolivian general election, in Buenos Aires. – Bolivia’s government announced on September 4, 2020 it has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against former president Evo Morales for “crimes against humanity” over last month’s mass roadblock movement. The government accused Morales of “terrorism and genocide” over the 12-day campaign that saw hospitals complain they were unable to receive urgent medical supplies needed to treat coronavirus patients. (Photo by Alejandro PAGNI / AFP)


A judge in Bolivia on Monday ruled that former president Evo Morales is not eligible to run for a senate seat in October’s elections, the government announced.

Justice Minister Alvaro Coimbra wrote on Twitter, “Urgent Evo Morales Disqualified,” after Judge Alfredo Jaimes Terrazas confirmed the former president was barred from running, in line with a decision by the Supreme Electoral Commission in February.

“They denied protection to Evo Morales, democracy won,” said lawyer Williams Bascope, one of the judicial team who weighed the constitutional protections presented by the ex-president’s defence team.

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Morales, 60, is a hugely influential figure in Bolivia even though he currently lives in exile in Argentina after 14 years in power. He fled into exile following three weeks of protests against his controversial re-election to an unconstitutional fourth term last October.

Morales had appealed to the constitutional court in La Paz to overturn the electoral commission’s decision and permit him to run as a senate candidate for the central region of Cochabamba, where he emerged as a political leader decades ago.

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“Evo Morales cannot be a candidate for senator because he lives in Argentina,” said Bascope.

Neither Morales nor his party, the Movement for Socialism (MAS), issued a statement in the immediate aftermath of the announcement.

Bolivia heads to the polls on October 18, a year after the elections that triggered mass protests over allegations of being rigged.

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