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  • Members of Bolivian Senate approve election law while anti-government protesters in Bolivia lifted street blockades in La Paz, Bolivia

    Members of Bolivian Senate approve election law while anti-government protesters in Bolivia lifted street blockades in La Paz, Bolivia | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 November 2019

The bill approved by both houses of Congress must now be signed by the self-proclaimed President of Bolivia Jeanine Añez.

The Bolivian Congress Saturday approved the law of "Exceptional and Transitory Regime for the holding of General Elections," which calls for new general elections in the country.

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The sessions, both in the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, were set up with a regulatory quorum and the debate focused on the electoral exercise in order to pacify the country. It is expected that the general elections will take place in February, which will not count with the participation of President Evo Morales or Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera.

Senator for the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), Adriana Salvatierra applauded the law and urged authorities to stop the repression, "we are taking a step that responds to the citizens' expectation of pacification and exit from the crisis situation," she said.

The bill approved by both houses of Congress must now be signed by the self-proclaimed President of Bolivia Jeanine añez. The next step is the formation of a new Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), hoping that the elections will be held in the first two months of 2020.

For his part, the United Nations special envoy to the South American country, Jean Arnault, indicated that the de facto government and the MAS party are willing to resolve their differences and bet on an agreement to overcome the crisis and protect people's lives.

More than 30 people have died in the clashes, mostly after the resignation of President Morales, who left office under pressure from Armed Forces and Civil Committees on Nov. 10, amid accusations of "fraud" in the elections that gave him a win for a fourth consecutive term.

Morales, a leading Latin American socialist leader who was in power for almost 14 years, said he was overthrown in a coup d'état and traveled to Mexico which granted him asylum to protect his life.

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