A fourth term in office for Evo Morales?

A fourth term in office for Evo Morales?
By Catherine Hardy with AP
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The Bolivian president has agreed to stand for a fourth mandate in 2019, after his party nominated him as candidate. This is despite a constitutional referendum in February.


Bolivian President Evo Morales has agreed to run for a fourth term in office.

His party has proclaimed him its candidate in the 2019 elections.

This is despite the result of a referendum in February.

Bolivian President Evo Morales agrees to run for a fourth term in office. https://t.co/rrKVnA1QTU

— The Associated Press (@AP) December 18, 2016

Unanimous vote

The Movement for Socialism party approved the candidacy of Morales in a unanimous vote.

“If the people say ‘let’s go with Evo’ then let’s continue defeating the right and continue with our processes,” Morales told reporters.

The referendum

Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, was first elected in 2005 and then re-elected in 2009 and 2014.

However, he narrowly lost a referendum earlier this year on whether the constitution should be revised to allow him to run again in 2019.

His current term expires on 22 January, 2020.

Bolivia’s constitution

Bolivia’s constitution only allows two consecutive terms in office.

Morales had sought to raise it to three straight terms.

The coming election will be his fourth. However, the constitutional tribunal has ruled his first term does not count as Morales did not complete the full five years.

In 2009, the government changed the constitution to make Bolivia a plurinational state instead of a republic.

The governing party says it is considering four ways to allow Morales to run again.

These include the possibility of changing the constitution through the legislative assembly or a signature-collection drive.

Other possibilities include having Morales step down six months early or asking the Constitutional Tribunal for another interpretation.

What the opposition say

The opposition say the re-election of Morales would be unconstitutional because of the referendum.

Opposition leader Jorge Quiroga has said “no means no.”

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