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Bolivia Experiencing An Unprecedented Moment

Bolivia’s Plurinational Constitutional Court (TCP) ruled in favor of the indefinite re-election of national and subnational authorities on November 28, a decision which enables President Evo Morales to stand again in 2019.

LA PAZ.–The Plenary Chamber of the Plurinational Constitutional Court (TCP) ruled on November 28, in the city of Sucre, in favor of the indefinite re-election of national and subnational authorities. This enables President Evo Morales to be a candidate in the 2019 general elections, teleSUR reported.

The members of the TCP unanimously ruled that the right to run for office supersedes limits on re-election imposed by Bolivia’s constitution, citing the American Convention on Human Rights. Thus candidates who have already served two terms are now authorized for re-nomination for the general elections scheduled for the end of 2019, and the subnational, or regional elections to be held mid-2020, to elect the president, vice president, 154 legislators, nine governors, 339 mayors and 3,500 councilors, as reported by ABI.

The TCP approved an abstract judicial review request, filed September 18 by Nélida Sifuentes, Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) Senator, along with other government and opposition legislators.

In this regard, Bolivian President Evo Morales stated November 29 that the approval of the abstract review presented by MAS to allow the re-nomination of the country’s authorities guarantees the continuity of democracy, sovereignty and dignity, PL reported.

During a press conference at the Palace of Government, the President thanked social movements and the over 30 organizations which had presented their support for the appeal before the TCP ruling.

“This ruling is based on the constitution and international law, I appreciate so many spontaneous mobilizations,” noted Morales.

He recalled that the appeal for an abstract review requested that the TCP declare the unconstitutionality of five articles of the Electoral Law and the inapplicability of four other articles of the Political Constitution of the State regarding re-election limits in elections for the president, vice-president, governors, departmental assembly members, mayors and councilors.

“The Bolivian people are wise, they were not wrong and the national authorities will be able to run again in the 2019 elections to continue working for equality,” Morales stressed.

This request was one of the four routes approved by the MAS Congress on this issue, Morales also recalled on his Twitter account @evoespueblo.

“One of the constitutional means suggested by social movements last December has been recognized: we are authorized so that the vote of the people decides whether they give us their support for a new term. The Democratic and Cultural Revolution continues. Ever onward to victory!” the President tweeted.

The other options were: a reform of Article 168 of the Constitution, approved by the Plurinational Legislative Assembly and supported by at least 20% of the electorate; or by means of a law adopted in the Parliament by two thirds of members; while the third option was the possibility that the head of state resign six months before the end of his term, which concludes January 22, 2020, to present his candidacy for new elections.

The Bolivian leader also highlighted the profound changes made during the last decade in the country, which went from last to first in terms of economic growth in South America.

“What is happening in Bolivia is unprecedented,” the President recalled during an act held in the central department of Cochabamba.

He also stressed that the changes in the country are the result of the struggle and unity of the people.

When we arrived to government in 2006, Bolivia was the slowest growing economy in South America, and the penultimate in Latin America, however, international organizations have reiterated that this year we will be the fastest growing economy in South America, Evo noted.

The President highlighted the successes of the economic model following the nationalization of natural resources and strategic companies.

In 20 years of neoliberalism (1985-2005) the Gross Domestic Product rose from five to nine billion dollars, however, in the last decade it reached 36 billion, he emphasized.

Morales also referred to the 4th Gas Summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, held last week in the city of Santa Cruz, with the participation of representatives of 18 nations and major international companies.

“Just imagine, the biggest gas producers come to Bolivia to debate the policies to guarantee energy for the world,” he said, as quoted by PL.

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