Nearshore Americas

Bolivian Congress Opens Path for a Fourth Evo Morales Presidency

Bolivia’s Congress passed a bill calling for judicial elections, a move that could allow former president Evo Morales to seek a fourth term in office.

Despite President Luis Arce’s attempts to block the elections, the billl was pushed through by  party allies of Morales, who control the current legislature.

Bolivia’s top judges are elected by the public, but their candidacies require prior approval by Congress. Morales, who served three terms from 2006 to 2019, has expressed dissatisfaction with the current Supreme Court judges, whom he accuses of hindering his re-election bid in 2020.

The Bolivian constitution bars individuals from holding public office for more than two terms. In 2016, a contentious ruling by the same court, then loyal to Morales, declared term limits a violation of human rights, paving the way for his 2019 run.

In 2023, a different set of judges ruled that Morales cannot run for president again. Morales’ supporters hope that newly elected judges will be more amenable to the idea of a fourth Morales presidency.

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Morales’ supporters continued blocking highways across the country in spite of Congress’ approval of the bill. They demand action against the current Supreme Court judges.

The judiciary is heavily politicized in Bolivia. The current system, requiring congressional approval before public elections, grants undue influence to political parties over the judiciary.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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