Bolivia's National Revolutionary Movement (MNR) presidential candidate, Virgilio Lema, expects the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to disqualify Carlos Mesa of the Comunidad Ciudadana (CC) party from running in the upcoming October presidential election.
Lema, along with Chi Hyun Chung, candidate for the Christian Democratic Party, are petitioning to the TSE that Mesa and his party be disqualified from the Oct. 20 polls after publishing a poll from the Main University of San Andrés (UMSA) and other institutions not authorized to publish political polls by the TSE.
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Bolivian Minister of Communications, Manuel Canelas, however, admitted this morning that it is highly unlikely Mesa be kicked out of the race because of the lack of regulations regarding the use of a candidate’s social media profile during the campaign. The minister added that Mesa and the CC will certainly not be seen as trustworthy after what he described as a "clumsy" move, but one that wasn't worthy of a disqualification.
The “Ormacheda” case began last week when José Manuel Ormachea, congressional candidate for Comunidad Ciudadana, published and commendted on the UMSA survey on his Facebook profile. A precendent similar to this case was set in 2015 when governor of Beni, Carmelo Lens, was forced to resign after he disclosed the results of a survey commissioned by the Democratic Unit, also not approved by the TSE.