23:53 GMT +306 December 2019
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    Bolivia's President and presidential candidate Evo Morales of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party is greeted by supporters as he arrives to vote during the presidential election at a polling station in a school in Villa 14 de Septiembre, in the Chapare region, Bolivia, October 20, 2019.

    Morales' Party Introduces Bill to Exempt Ex-Bolivian President From Criminal Prosecution

    © REUTERS / UESLEI MARCELINO
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Ex-Bolivian President Evo Morales’ party, the Movement for Socialism (MAS), has introduced a bill in the upper house to exempt its leader from criminal prosecution.

    On Friday, Bolivia's interim Interior Minister Arturo Murillo announced that the government had opened a criminal case against the former president for allegedly inciting riots and terrorism activities against the country's new authorities.

    "The purpose of this bill is to reaffirm and ensure the basic civil and political rights ... as well as constitutional guarantees for public leaders, trade union leaders and citizens [namely] Juan Evo Morales Ayma and [former Vice President] Alvaro Marcelo Garcia Linera, the elected authorities ... and prohibit arrests, detentions and judicial proceedings [against them]," the piece of legislation said, as quoted by the Pagina Siete newspaper.

    Morales stepped down on 10 November and fled to Mexico after his re-election to a fourth term prompted protests. Most of Bolivia’s senior officials have resigned as well. The senate second vice speaker, opposition lawmaker Jeanine Anez, declared herself interim president. Morales has characterized the situation as a coup, with his supporters protesting against the new interim authorities.

    Earlier on Saturday, the country’s upper house passed a bill to annul Morales’ contested victory in the 20 October vote and call new presidential and parliamentary elections.

    The MAS party earlier said that it would nominate new candidates who would run for president and vice president in new elections but abstain from putting forward its representatives to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

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    charges, prosecution, Jeanine Anez, Evo Morales, Bolivia
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