01:03 GMT +308 December 2019
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    Congress session in La Paz, Bolivia

    Senior Lawmaker Says Bolivian Legislature Adopts Regulations for Holding Elections

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    LA PAZ (Sputnik) – Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly adopted regulations for choosing new members of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), the highest electoral court that acts as an electoral watchdog, which sets the stage for holding the next presidential election, the upper house speaker, Monica Eva Copa Murga, said.

    "We have approved a protocol … by two-thirds of the vote … We welcome all Bolivian citizens who would like to run because tomorrow morning all the requirements will be announced", the upper house speaker said after both houses of the parliament completed their sessions late on Thursday.

    Under the new rules, beginning on Thursday, there will be 20 days to form the TSE. After the TSE members are sworn in, they have 48 hours to call the next election.

    On Monday, interim President Jeanine Anez signed legislation paving the way for holding the next presidential vote. Under the law, a president is not allowed to stay in office for more than two terms, which prevents ex-President Evo Morales, who has already served three terms before resigning earlier in November, from being re-elected.

    Bolivia's interim president Jeanine Anez
    © AFP 2019 / AIZAR RALDES
    Bolivia's interim president Jeanine Anez

    The law also stipulated that the new presidential election must be held within 140 days, including 20 days for the formation of the panel of the TSE and 120 days for organizing and holding the presidential election itself. The presidential vote is set to be held no later than 12 April.

    Moreover, the law recognized the 20 October general election, won by Morales, which provoked mass protests, as illegal.

    On 13 November, Jeanine Anez, the Bolivian deputy speaker of the parliament's upper chamber, declared herself the president of the nation without a parliamentary agreement, shortly after Bolivian lawmakers revealed they lacked a quorum to formally approve Morales' resignation due to an inadequate showing from members of the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS). Despite her declaration, a lack of a formal vote violates the Bolivian Constitution. From his exile in Mexico, Morales described Anez's self-proclamation as an "partisan and nefarious coup" and an "assault on the power of the people".

    This photo released by by Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard shows Bolivia's former President Evo Morales holding a Mexican flag aboard a Mexican Air Force aircraft, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019
    © AP Photo / Mexico's Foreign Minister
    This photo released by by Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard shows Bolivia's former President Evo Morales holding a Mexican flag aboard a Mexican Air Force aircraft, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019

    On 10 November, the Bolivian armed forces urged Morales to step down. As a result, he resigned the same day and left the country. Bolivia's highest-ranking officials resigned as well.

    Tags:
    presidential election, Evo Morales, Jeanine Anez, Bolivia
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