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Bolivia socialists say neither Morales nor ex-VP will run in elections

Bolivia socialists say neither Morales nor ex-VP will run in elections
FILE PHOTO: Former Bolivian President Evo Morales holds a news conference in Mexico City, Mexico November 20, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso -
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CARLOS JASSO(Reuters)
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LA PAZ (Reuters) – Former Bolivian President Evo Morales and his Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, who both resigned under pressure this month, will not be candidates for their party in the next elections, a prominent member of their Movement for Socialism (MAS) party said on Thursday.

“Movement for Socialism will have another candidate for president, and another candidate for vice president,” said Henry Cabrera, vice president of the House of deputies and a member of MAS, in an interview with local media.

Cabrera said MAS would not suggest members for a new electoral board.

On Wednesday, Bolivia’s interim government presented a bill that would annul the disputed Oct. 20 vote, appoint a new electoral board and forge a path to new elections.

The South American country’s two chambers of congress are expected to debate the election bill beginning on Thursday and possibly extending into Friday. There is no date set for new elections.

Long-term leftist leader Morales, Garcia Linera and several other top MAS officials stepped down on Nov. 10 under pressure from protesters, civil groups, security forces and allies, as well as an international audit that found serious irregularities in the election count and cast doubt on Morales’ announced outright victory.

Currently led by an interim government under conservative former Senator Jeanine Anez, Bolivia is grappling to mend stark divisions between Morales’ supporters and opponents seeking to move beyond his nearly 14-year rule.

Street violence has shaken the country and killed 32 people since the disputed October election.

(Reporting by Daniel Ramos and Monica Machicao; writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by David Gregorio)

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