22:51 GMT31 July 2021
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    The highly contentious October 2019 election in Bolivia, which saw Morales re-elected, sparked mass protests in the country, leading to most of Bolivia's senior officials resigning.

    The Prosecutor's Office in La Paz has launched criminal proceedings against former Bolivian President Evo Morales and his "close collaborators" over the alleged fraud in the October presidential election, Agenciana Boliviana de informacion reported on Wednesday citing the State Attorney General, Juan Lanchipa.

    "We have referred the Departmental Prosecutor's Office of La Paz as appropriate (...), we have received the information a new case was opened against the ex-authorities in relation to electoral fraud", Lanchipa told reporters.

    Earlier, former Bolivian leader Carlos Mesa, who also took part in the October 2019 election, requested that the Prosecutor's Office expand the investigation of electoral crimes to include Morales, as well as his former vice president Alvaro Garcia and former ministers Juan Ramon Quintana, Hector Arce, and Carlos Romero.

    The initial investigation was opened against six members of the former Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), five of which are in prison and one is under house arrest, the outlet added, but Mesa considers that it was "inconclusive" and "did not take into account the intellectual authors of the incident".

    It was reported last week that Morales, currently living in exile in Argentina, officially registered to run for the seat of an upper house lawmaker from the Cochabamba Department.

    Morales was deposed following the October presidential election which sparked nationwide protests and subsequently left the country, along with much of his government, first to Mexico, then to Argentina. Amid the political turmoil, opposition lawmaker Jeanine Anez declared herself interim president of Bolivia despite failing to reach the necessary quorum, as lawmakers from the governing party Movement for Socialism (MAS) were absent.

    Bolivia, Evo Morales, fraud, Jeanine Anez, prosecutors, investigation, falsification
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