World

Exiled Morales convinced his party will win Bolivia election

December 18, 2019
Bolivia's ex-President Evo Morales gestures during a press conference in Buenos Aires, on Tuesday. -AFP
Bolivia's ex-President Evo Morales gestures during a press conference in Buenos Aires, on Tuesday. -AFP

BUENOS AIRES - Evo Morales may be in exile in Argentina but the former Bolivia president said on Tuesday he was convinced his socialist party would win next year's general election, even without him.

After ruling the South American country for almost 14 years before resigning the presidency last month, Morales is barred from standing in the next election.

He controversially won an unconstitutional fourth term in October's general election that was later annulled after the Organization of American States (OAS) found clear evidence of vote rigging in an audit.

That prompted Morales to resign and flee, initially to Mexico before last week heading to Argentina.

"I'm convinced that we'll win the next elections. I won't be a candidate but I have a right to be in politics," Morales told reporters.

Bolivia's interim government, led by right-wing President Jeanine Anez, has yet to set a date for new elections but has barred Morales from standing.

At the weekend, Anez said an arrest warrant would soon be issued for Morales, saying he would be investigated for sedition and terrorism.

And she received support from US President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

"We denounce the ongoing violence and those that provoke it both in Bolivia and from afar," Trump said on Twitter, in what appeared to be a clear reference to Morales.

Bolivia has been wracked by weeks of social unrest since the October 20 election when Morales was awarded outright victory.

But the OAS audit found evidence of fraud and Morales stepped down after losing the support of Bolivia's police and armed forces.

Anez's government accuses Morales of fomenting unrest from exile, particularly among the indigenous communities from which he draws a large part of his support.

His Movement for Socialism (MAS) party has named Morales as their election campaign manager.

And he launched MAS's election campaign at the weekend from the Liniers neighborhood of Buenos Aires that has a large Bolivian community.

He also met with new Argentina President Alberto Fernandez and Vice President Cristina Kirchner, two leftist allies. -AFP


December 18, 2019
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