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News > Bolivia

Bolivia: Political Refugees Can Contest Subnational Elections

  • Socialist activists gathered to support their candidates, Las Paz, Bolivia, Dec. 28, 2020.

    Socialist activists gathered to support their candidates, Las Paz, Bolivia, Dec. 28, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 4 January 2021

Citizens recognized by foreign governments as political refugees may present their candidacies for the upcoming elections on February 7.

Bolivia's Constitutional Court ruled that candidates with asylum or political refugee status abroad may not be disqualified from competing in Feb. 7 sub-national elections, until a final decision is taken by relevant authorities on each case.


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The ruling was approved taking into account a request submitted by Cochabamba lawmaker Freddy Gonzales on December 28, 2020.

He requested precautionary measures to ensure that the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and the departmental courts did not block the candidatures presented by political asylum seekers recognized by foreign governments.

The decision benefits the businessman Cesar Dockweiler, who was persecuted by Jeanine Añez's Interim regime; El Alto first city council candidate Wilma Alanoca, and former presidential candidate Manfred Reyes, who seeks Cochabamba's mayor office.

On Sunday, the TSE published the list of political organizations and alliances running in the elections, reporting over 100 candidacies. 

Among the organizations with a national presence are the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), the Third System Movement (MTS), the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (MNR), Front for Victory (FPV), Pan-Bol, Civic Unity Solidarity, National Unity (NU), and Nationalist Democratic Action (ADN).  

According to the electoral calendar, a final list of qualified candidates must be published on January 10.

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