The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales announced this Sunday that he will call new general elections and that it will renew all the members of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal after the unfavorable preliminary ruling of the Organization of American States (OAS) on the elections of October 20. "I have decided to renew all the members of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and call for new general elections, ”Morales announced in a public appearance broadcast by Bolivian public television.
And I add: "New national elections that, through the vote, allow the Bolivian people to democratically elect their new authorities by incorporating new political actors."
The president, however, did not confirm when the new election takes place or if he intends to be a candidate.
Further, Morales asked to "lower the tension" after protests and mobilizations of the opposition against the last elections. "We all have the obligation to pacify Bolivia," he said.
“Brothers and sisters of the press, to the people of Bolivia, after this decision we made, I want to ask to reduce all the tension. We all have the obligation to pacify Bolivia. I make a call: respect between family, respect for private property, respect for authorities, respect for all social sectors. All we have in Bolivia is the Bolivian heritage and among Bolivians we cannot face each other to harm, ”he insisted.
Evo Morales' decision came after the OAS recommended to cancel the elections of last October 20. "By virtue of the seriousness of the complaints and analysis regarding the electoral process that the team of auditors has transferred to me, we must state that the first round of the elections held last October 20 must be annulled and the electoral process must begin again" , as Almagro said through a statement.
Morales, too, He indicated that in the next few hours the Plurinational Legislative Assembly, in agreement with all political forces, will establish the procedures to renew the total number of members of the TSE, as required by the opposition.
The opponent Waldo Albarracin, a member of the National Committee for the Defense of Democracy (Conade) of Bolivia, said his sector will not support the electoral call if Evo Morales insists on participating as a candidate. Albarracin believes that Morales must get off his candidacy and let other political actors dispute the presidency.
In an interview with the channel Unitel said: "It would be ideal if I quit for ethical reasons, but I want to take into account what he said in his press conference:‘ new elections with new political protagonists. " This means that Mr. Morales should not run. ”
The protests in Bolivia broke out the same night of the presidential elections held on October 20 due to the sudden suspension of the transmission of official results just when they forced a second round between Morales and the main opposition leader, Carlos Mesa. When he resumed, almost 24 hours later, they granted Morales the first round victory, so Mesa has denounced a “gigantic fraud”. Both called for the mobilization of their own, which has resulted in riots. At least two people have died and more than 190 have been arrested in these two weeks.
In this context, Morales agreed that the OAS, supported by countries such as Spain, Mexico or Peru, carry out a binding electoral audit. Mesa, on the other hand, does not accept it because it says it is the result of a unilateral agreement between the Government and the hemispheric bloc without regard to the opposition.
On Thursday and Friday, police rioted in the more entrenched regions of the opposition, first to demand labor demands and then in support of opposition mobilizations, and on Saturday there were riots even in La Paz and the Army had to step up to warn that he would not suppress the protests.
This Sunday has finally published the preliminary report of the OAS mission that denounces serious irregularities in the electoral process and indicates as “unlikely” that Morales obtained the 10 percent of votes of advantage necessary to avoid a second round against Mesa.
The full OAS Audit Report