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Morales slams electoral body's disqualification ruling

Morales slams electoral body's disqualification ruling
Ousted ex-president claims he meets all requirements to run for senate in May 3 Bolivia elections

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

ANKARA (AA) - Bolivia's former leader Evo Morales blasted the decision of electoral authority that he was ineligible to run for a seat in the country's senate on May 3 elections, saying it was "a blow against democracy."

"The decision of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal [TSE] is a blow against democracy," Morales said early Friday on Twitter, adding: "The members of @TSEBolivia know that I meet all the requirements to be a candidate."

His remarks came hours after the electoral body announced its decision on Thursday, blocking Morales from running as a candidate.

"The ultimate goal is the proscription of MAS [Movement for Socialism Party, led by Morales]."

Morales first voiced his intention to run for a senate seat in late January.

"First, the coup plotters were afraid of my candidacy for the presidency. Now, they fear being nominated as a deputy or senator," Morales said on Twitter, referring country's interim government led by Jeanine Anez.

"Legally, nothing prevents me from being a candidate, but the coup plotters want to outlaw me and silence me, but they won't succeed," he said.

The indigenous leader blames Anez, opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho and former President Carlos Mesa for his ouster, which he calls a coup.

Bolivians will elect their president, vice president and other legislators on May 3 after months of political strife.

Having reached the constitutional limit of two terms in the office, Morales will not be able to run again for the presidency.

The MAS will be represented by Luis Arce Catacora as it was decided after two days of "intense debate" in Argentina, where was he granted asylum, with the leaders of the MAS and the Pact of Unity -- a national alliance of Bolivian grassroots organizations in support of indigenous and agrarian rights.

Turmoil in Bolivia began when Morales won a fourth term in office -- which was beyond the legal limit -- in October and faced immediate resistance from opposition parties that challenged the presidential election results. Protesters took to the streets claiming the ballot was rigged.

Morales said he was the winner of the election in the first round, and if there was any rigging, it was the work of the Organization of American States, not his party's.

After weeks of upheaval, Morales resigned under pressure from the military and moved to Mexico, where he was offered political asylum. He was then granted asylum in Argentina.

Meanwhile, conservative Senator Anez has proclaimed herself interim president.

source: News Feed
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