Friday, May 17th 2013 - 06:33 UTC

Bolivian congress confirms President Morales can run for re-re-election

Bolivia’s Lower House passed a bill this week which would allow President Evo Morales to run for a third mandate in next years’ elections. The bill passed in an 84 to 33 vote, following a decision by the country’s Constitutional Court — whose judges were appointed by Morales — saying the re-re-election bill does not violate Bolivia’s Constitution.

Morales the first indigenous president could become Bolivia’s longest serving head of state

Congress and Supreme Court said Morales term must be counted since the new Constitution was signed into law in 2010

The working majority of ruling party lawmakers in the Lower House ensured the passage of the bill after 11 hours of debate, despite strong criticism from the opposition, who questioned the bill’s constitutionality.

“We are in the right: this is a legal and constitutional measure,” ruling party lawmaker Héctor Arce told state-owned Bolivia TV channel. “A new state has emerged, with new rules and a new Constitution,“ Arce told state news agency ABI.

The Constitutional Court ruled in late April that Morales’ term will be counted from 2010, after Bolivia’s new Constitution came into effect, “creating a new legal and political order.” The court said the clock started ticking after the new Constitution was signed into law, meaning that next year's vote will be legally counted as Morales' first re-election.

”The presidential term is computed from the time of the adoption of the new Constitution,” Constitutional Court president Ruddy Flores told reporters.

This means the bill will only take into account Morales’ second term after 2010 until next year, which would allow him to run for office for a third time.

The Court’s ruling overlooks completely Morales’ first presidential term (2006-2009) since the country’s current Constitution changed fundamentally in 2010, making Bolivia’s official denomination a “pluri-national state” from a “republic.” According to the Constitution, a president is allowed to run again for office only once at the end of the mandate.

But opposition leaders disagreed with the Court’ decision.

“The constitution is very clear in that there can only be one re-re-election. If Evo Morales wants a second re-re-election he should have to change the Constitution again,” said Samuel Doria Medina, leader of the centre-right National Unity party.

Morales, 53, was elected in 2006 and re-elected in a landslide in 2009 — before reaching the end of his first term — due to fundamental changes in the Constitution. Morales has made no comments so far about planning to run for a third term but he has left open the possibility of remaining at the helm and some of his allies have hinted he might announce his candidacy next year. If Morales wins in 2014, he could become Bolivia’s longest serving president, with a continuous time from 2006 to 2020.

If he stays in power, Bolivia’s president would only follow the lead of others Latin American leaders who have skirted or modified term limits in recent years. Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chávez scraped term limits in a 2009 referendum before running for a winning third term last year. After taking office in early 2007, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa moved to rewrite the country’s Constitution so that it would allow his re-election. Correa scored a predictable victory at the polls in March.

Morales nationalized private companies as part of his policy of increasing state control over the economy, which has made him unpopular among many international investors. But he has also won plaudits from Wall Street credit rating agencies for sound fiscal management and for building up record central bank reserves. Last year Bolivia issued its first bond since 1922, when JPMorgan sold a bond to fund construction of a railway.

15 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Thank you.

1 golfcronie (#) May 17th, 2013 - 08:16 am Report abuse
Argentina next? New,new constitution anyone.
2 British_Kirchnerist (#) May 17th, 2013 - 09:15 am Report abuse
Excellent =) Cristinita next I hope!
3 golfcronie (#) May 17th, 2013 - 09:44 am Report abuse
Carefull what you wish for. She has managed the countries finances soooo well so far. Not long before she bleeds the country dry. One more year and it will be a bankrupt state.
4 Mendoza Canadian (#) May 17th, 2013 - 10:33 am Report abuse
Megalomaniacs galore on this continent. Rich ones too.
5 pgerman (#) May 17th, 2013 - 12:00 pm Report abuse
Ahhh...Argentina has two queens and a Pope, Venezuela has (as Spain had Francisco Franco) a “leader by the will of a little birdie”....and now this..LATAM has another “long lasting” kng. Morales didn't know that the age of the Inkas had come to an end.

Maduro, CFK, Morales...remember..remember...remember Gadaffi !!!
6 Conqueror (#) May 17th, 2013 - 12:48 pm Report abuse
“a decision by the country’s Constitutional Court — whose judges were appointed by Morales”

Anyone surprised? How does it go? “Of course the game is honest. I stacked the deck myself.”
7 Chicureo (#) May 17th, 2013 - 12:58 pm Report abuse
Oh, it's kind of nice being bordered with a nation controlled by an insane idiot. It keeps the military well funded...
8 Pirate Love (#) May 17th, 2013 - 12:59 pm Report abuse
“President Morales can run for re-re-election”, id give him the election just for wearing that V neck sock on his head.......hes got balls!
9 Condorito (#) May 17th, 2013 - 01:46 pm Report abuse
It is tragic-comical that Bolivians blame their woes on not having sea rather than on their own absurdity.

“following a decision by the country’s Constitutional Court — whose judges were appointed by Morales”

... now where could the problem lie there?
10 golfcronie (#) May 17th, 2013 - 07:17 pm Report abuse
What planet do these LATAM countries belong to? You could not make this s“”t up. What plonkers. How can you take Bolivia serious when the President has his photo takien in that hat. Can anyone see any european country being represented by a dork wearing a balaclava, or similar attire. For F**ks sake have some decency.
11 ChrisR (#) May 17th, 2013 - 07:45 pm Report abuse
10 golfcronie

Oh come on!

The hat is a part of the national costume and will seem perfectly acceptable to the Bolivian indians he mainly represents.

I know and you know he looks a right prat, but they LIKE it!
12 golfcronie (#) May 17th, 2013 - 08:54 pm Report abuse
The same could be said about MADURO , a straw hat and a bird in it ( CHAVEZ ) talking to him. Christ no wonder no-one takes LATAM serious, it beggars belief.
13 Pirate Love (#) May 17th, 2013 - 11:44 pm Report abuse
Morales “head Of State” , shouldn't that read “state of his Head”

last time I seen tassles like that , they also where hanging form a tit!
14 Captain Poppy (#) May 18th, 2013 - 01:05 am Report abuse
He looks like Bobo the clown with his ski cap. I think he's snorting too much coke.
15 British_Kirchnerist (#) May 18th, 2013 - 10:03 am Report abuse
#10,12 I'm sure I actually could find similar pictures of European and British leaders in similar or other embarrasing atire, if I could be bothered to do a quick search =)

#13 That says more about you than him =)

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!


Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!