Evo Morales (right) with Luis Arce, presidential candidate for the party of the former head of state, on February 17, 2020 in Buenos Aires. - Natacha Pisarenko / AP / SIPA

It is a new twist in the presidential and legislative campaign in Bolivia. The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) on Thursday invalidated Evo Morales' candidacy for the Senate because the ex-president, exiled in Argentina, does not fulfill the obligation of "permanent residence" in the country. Evo Morales left Bolivia after his resignation in November, after weeks of protests against him and under pressure from the armed forces, following a controversial presidential election.

The decision of the Tribunal Supremo Electoral is a golpe against democracy. Los miembros del @TSEBolivia saben que cumplo todos los requisitos para ser candidato. The final object is the proscription of the MAS.

- Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) February 21, 2020

MAS tops polls

The court decision "is a blow against democracy. The members (of this tribunal) know that I meet the conditions to be a candidate. The final objective is the elimination of the MAS, ”reacted the former president, speaking of his party, the Movement towards socialism. The ex-head of state, 60, prosecuted in his country for "sedition and terrorism" and who cannot stand for the presidential election, wishes to run for a senatorial post in the Cochabamba region (center) where he started his political career.

The general elections of May 3 aim to elect the president, the vice-president as well as 36 senators and 120 deputies. In the event of a second round, the ballot will take place on June 14. According to the latest polls, Luis Arce, dubbed by Evo Morales, is widely in the lead in voting intentions, with 31.6%, ahead of the centrist former head of state Carlos Mesa (17.1%) and the president interim conservative Jeanine Añez (16.5%).


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