The High Electoral Commission of Bolivia prevented former President Evo Morales from running for a seat in the Senate, in a decision that weakens the possibility of him returning to politics after his resignation last November.
The Supreme Electoral Court of Bolivia announced Thursday that the candidacy of the former refugee president in Argentina is invalid because it does not fulfill the condition of "permanent residency" in the country.
Evo Morales left Bolivia to Mexico after his resignation in November, after weeks of demonstrations against him and under pressure from the armed forces after his controversial re-election to a new term. He then took refuge in Argentina.
"The court's decision is a blow to democracy," Morales wrote in a tweet on Twitter, noting that "the members of this court know that I meet the requirements for candidacy and the ultimate goal is to eliminate the movement toward socialism," the party he leads.
On the other hand, his opponent, the centrist ex-president, Carlos Mesa, welcomed the court's decision, which he saw had "correctly applied the law and constitution." He added that Morales should "realize that he can no longer use the law according to his interests."
But Morales' party will definitely be in the presidential election. The Supreme Electoral Court approved the nomination of former Economy Minister Luis Arce, President of the Court Salvador Romero announced to reporters.
Arcy was officially announced as a candidate for the movement toward socialism on February 9th. This economist close to Morales was Minister of Economy during his rule from 2006 to 2019.
Morales, 60, was unable to pursue charges of "rebellion and terrorism", mainly because of running for the presidential elections.
On November 24, the transitional president issued a law calling for new presidential and legislative elections, and stipulating that anyone who has been elected for two consecutive terms from being prevented from participating for a third term.
This eliminated the possibility that Morales, who served as president, would run for three states.