LA PAZ (NNN-Telesur) – President Evo Morales is free to run as a candidate in country’s primary elections in January 2019 with incumbent vice president Alvaro Garcia Linera, Bolivia’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE) said.
After an emergency meeting, the majority of electoral authorities ruled to allow the Bolivian president an opportunity to run for a fourth term, despite the TSE’s preliminary reservations in 2016 after Morales lost a referendum for the right to candidacy, citing “political rights.”
TSE president Maria Eugenia Choque announced that the incumbent president is “fully qualified” for the position, El Deber reports.
Mr Morales was first elected president in January 2006 and made history as the country’s first indigenous leader.
The president official registered his candidacy on Nov. 28 as a representative of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party.
The Left Revolutionary Front (FRI) has announced its candidates Carlos Mesa and Gustavo Pedraza, the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) is endorsing Jaime Paz Zamora and Paola Barriga, and the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR) favours Virginio Lema and Fernando Untoja as their presidential and vice presidential candidates.
Mr Mesa, who is Mr Morales’ leading rival, has served as vice president and president. He was in power just prior to Mr Morales’ first win in 2006. Mr Mesa is best known as serving alongside former president Sanchez de Lozada, who fled by helicopter to Miami just as Bolivia was experiencing one of its worst economic crisis.
He was also responsible for the ‘Black October’ massacre, during which state security forces killed over 60 Bolivians in the context of anti-privatisation protests.