LA PAZ – The Bolivian parliament’s Chamber of Deputies has voted in favor of holding new general elections, the lower house said in a Twitter post.
“The Chamber of Deputies unanimously voted to approve the bill on a special and transitional period for holding general elections,” the tweet read, according to TASS.
The document was earlier approved by Bolivia’s Senate. Now it will be sent to Interim President Jeanine Anez for signature. The bill said that new judges of Bolivia’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal and regional commissions are to be appointed and the election should be held as soon as possible.
The presidential election in Bolivia was held on October 20. According to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Evo Morales who was the head of state at that time won in the first round. His main competitor, Carlos Mesa, stated that he does not recognize Morales’ victory in the first round.
After the outcome of the election was announced, large-scale protests and strikes erupted across the country. The country’s armed forces, opposition and labor unions forced Morales to step down. On November 10, Morales announced his resignation describing the situation in the country as a coup.
Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, several ministers and parliament members resigned as well. The Mexican authorities granted political asylum to Morales. Morales arrived in Mexico on November 12. Later on that day, Bolivian Senator Anez unilaterally declared herself as interim president.
On Saturday, she rejected legislation introduced in the upper house to exempt the former president from criminal prosecution.
“We have categorically affirmed that my government will not persecute any politician, union or civic leader […] But at the same time we are also clear that everyone who has committed crimes, has mocked the law, has committed abuses, will not have any amnesty,” Anez said, cited by AFP.
The bill was introduced earlier by Morales’ Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, which has now become the opposition faction in the nation’s senate.
After Morales was exiled to Mexico amid violent protests against the results of the October presidential election in which he secured the fourth term in office, much of Bolivia’s senior management resigned as well. The ex-president’s supporters subsequently engaged in rallies against the self-proclaimed Anez government, which has led to additional clashes with security officers.
Morales has described the ongoing crisis in his home country as a coup. Bolivia’s interim authority opened a criminal case against Morales for allegations of “inciting unrest and terrorist activities” against the nation’s current government. In addition, the Bolivian upper house earlier on Saturday annulled Morales’ 20 October presidential win.