After weeks of massive protests, Bolivia's President Evo Morales has announced new elections. "I have decided to call new national elections so that the Bolivian people can vote for their new government in a democratic way, involving new political actors," he said on Sunday, according to the Bolivian news agency ABI.
All judges posts of the Supreme Electoral Court are to be filled again. Since the presidential election on October 20, supporters of the government and opposition of the South American country have fiercely quarreled. The acting since 2006 Morales had won, according to the electoral authorities with 47.08 percent of the vote against his challenger Carlos Mesa (36.51 percent). The opposition accuses the government of electoral fraud.
International observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) also questioned the outcome of the election, CNN and BBC reported on Sunday. The organization demanded that the presidential election of October 20 should be invalidated.
Morales is the longest-serving president on the continent. Already since 2006, the former coca farmer manages the fortunes of Bolivia. He spoke recently of a coup attempt by violent groups. Policemen reportedly rebelled against him in several areas of the country. Opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho thanked the police on Twitter for being on the side of the people.
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Although Bolivia is flourishing under the left-wing president, the promotion of gas and lithium has given the poorhouse of South America temporary growth rates of more than six percent. But the increasingly autocratic and authoritarian behavior of the indigenous head of state is increasingly stumbling upon Bolivians. Above all, the people in the economically strong east of the country feel spoiled by Morales.
The protests have so far killed three people and injured about 200 others. Morales' candidacy for a fourth term was heavily controversial. Bolivia's constitution would not have allowed a further candidacy of the president in office since 2006, but the constitutional court granted Morales the right to a further term in 2017.