Since Evo Morales became president, he has used a number of mechanisms to stay in power. The plurinational Constitutional Court (TCP) approved the ex-president’s actions more than once. Morales refused a first mandate due to the validity of a new constitution, and later resorted to the TCP to interpret the American Convention on Human Rights and have his candidacy re-elected as a human right, an aspect identified by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I / A Court HR) through his report.
In 2005, Morales was elected and served from 2006 to 2009, a period he disregarded when he pointed out that his first government did not count because it was under a different constitutional regime.
With the entry into force of the 2009 Constitution, the TCP gave Morales a free ticket to run as if for the first time, arguing that “the re-establishment of the state was carried out as a plurinational state with a new order.” .
Among these arguments, the chairman of the Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS) had a term of office until 2014 as if it were his first term because the TCP decided not to take into account the mandates before the new constitution came into force for the purposes of billing the new presidential term because re-election is regulated once in the new constitution.
But in April 2013, the ruling party consulted the TCP to request a “reinterpretation” of the issue as to whether the pursuit of a new mandate was legitimate.
The TCP decided that the period that Morales and his Vice President Álvaro García Linera would begin in 2009 was the first period of the Plurinational State established that year. In other words, it was the second government, but the first under the new constitutional order.
Under these circumstances, the presidents of Morales-García ran for the elections in October 2014 and emerged victorious with 61.36 percent for their third government from 2015 to 2020.
But in September 2015, the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) and other social movements submitted an initiative to the Bolivian legislature to amend the constitution and allow Morales to be re-elected. with
With 112 votes in favor and 41 against, the assembly approved a bill that changed an article of the Magna Carta and increased the number of consecutive elections to two, paving the way for Morales to continue at the Quemado Palace, the government palace at the time .
A constitutional referendum was called on February 21, 2016 to open the lock that banned new nominations and to amend Article 168 of the Political Constitution of the State (CPE).
On that occasion, Morales suffered a setback and the popular consultation denied him a new nomination for president.
Despite this defeat, the president and his party looked for other alternatives to stay in power.
The IX. The Extraordinary Congress of the MAS decided to encourage the re-registration of its Chairman Evo Morales, President of Bolivia since 2006, in the 2019 elections for the fourth time in a row.
A Congressional resolution was passed considering “four ways” that the government would have to choose in order for Morales’ re-election to be “not an inch from the law”.
On the occasion, Morales said defiantly: “We will see you in the elections.”
First way: constitutional reform by two thirds in the Plurinational Legislative Assembly (ALP). It would be a partial reform of Article 168 of the constitution, justified by a citizens’ initiative with the collection of signatures from at least 20 percent of Bolivia’s electorate, 6.3 million citizens. This option also implied the reform of other articles of the CPE for the continuous re-election of all elected authorities for more than a period.
Second way: a new partial constitutional reform of article 168 of the CPE, which was approved by the ALP law with two thirds of the votes of the members present.
Third way: Morales, whose term of office expired on January 22, 2020, resigns six months in advance in order to qualify as a candidate for the 2019 elections.
Fourth way: the authorization by interpretation of the CPE by the TCP inherent in the section of the election and re-election of the President and Vice-President.
Although Morales promised to respect the will of the people (referendum 2016), MPs and senators of the ruling party appealed to the TCP in September 2017.
Blue Party Assembly members argued that Bolivia’s “political rights” recognized in the American Convention on Human Rights should take precedence over the CPE’s limitations on consecutive terms of office.
The convention is an international treaty, also known as the Pact of San José, signed in this Costa Rican city in 1969.
The Bolivian Constitution recognizes this multilateral agreement as a norm with legal value.
Under this argument, the TCP therefore made a decision that favored not only Morales but all authorities who want to stand for re-election and declared five articles of the Bolivian electoral law to be unconstitutional.
The TCP approved judgment 084/2017, which establishes the “preferential application” of Article 23 of the American Convention on Human Rights, to the constitutional articles that limit the re-election of the president to a single consecutive re-election, on the grounds that it is a “human right for an indefinite period Re-election ”.
Given the insistence on repostulation, Morales claimed that he did not define this aspect.
“First of all, it’s not Evo; is the people. The Constituent Assembly’s first draft provided for unlimited re-election for all authorities, not just the President. A question that is a right to be elected. In the negotiations with the right, we cut that. Only one re-election was approved, ”he emphasized.
In this process of maintaining power, Morales said in various interviews: “I don’t want you to feel that Evo is manipulating and maneuvering to be a candidate again. Fortunately, I never dreamed of being a leader, less of a president. (I prefer) to go back to my farm, with my people, to work, that’s what I want ”.
Regarding the decision of the referendum that won the no, the dignitary at the time argued about other options, noting that “it is a legal, constitutional right to change the constitution. And for 2016 the social movements called for the constitution to be changed ”.
“Won, no. But 51 percent versus 49 percent, rounded. We lost 140,000 votes. Is nothing. But people said that the constitution shouldn’t be changed. What a blow that is against the constitution, ”he justified in 2017 on the way to renaming it.
He added that “Article 256, that international treaties and conventions on legal issues take precedence over the Constitution. Lyrically. And now members of the congregation made an appeal to interpret the constitution. And there are international forerunners ”.
On November 28, 2017, the then magistrates of the TCP Macario Lahor Cortez, Oswaldo Valencia, Zenón Bacarreza, Mirtha Camacho, Neldy Virginia Andrade and Ruddy Flores approved the judgment 084/2017, which allowed the unlimited re-election of Morales.
This opinion repealed Article 168 of the CPE, in addition to four articles of the Electoral Code
MORE SAYS HE LOST FOR A “LIE”
After the election defeat on February 21, 2016, the Movement for Socialism (MAS) applied in the first instance for the referendum to be null and void because it believed that the people had voted “cheated” by the Gabriela Zapata case. an ex-girlfriend of Evo Morales.
In April 2016, then Prime Minister Juan Ramón Quintana assured that a “cartel of lies” made up of various media had invented the entire Zapata case in order to overthrow Morales and lose him in the referendum.
THE BLUE PARTY LOOKING FOR ANOTHER RECOMMENDATION
In May 2016, the MAS held another referendum, an occasion on which then-President Evo Morales spoke of “a second half” in the elections, even though the 21F considered each option closed.
Faced with the impossibility of holding a new referendum, the National Coordinator for Change reported in September that year that options were being sought to ensure the renaming of this binomial and three “constitutional” avenues were discussed, the Magna Carta. to change and it qualified as a scam for 21F.
“ANGURRIA TO KEEP IN POWER”
Evo Morales’ determination to seek successive re-elections has an explanation: a fear of power hidden under the slogan that it is a popular request, which is why he has chosen to run repeatedly for candidacy.
Evo was a figure who had to cut a figure on indigenous issues, he was a person who met various demands, he was the answer at one point, but now the ambition of a power group and a tendency that the left had, that is Unfortunately, with Evo Morales, the left has not been able to integrate itself into a democratic system of change, and in these reorganizations it is trying to maintain power, because the only way to secure power is not to lose it.
Conditions are no longer the same, there are other changes, the population is looking for other parameters to resolve issues ahead, and a possible nomination could jeopardize the administration that the current government might have.
There is still a quality or that social or political groups become involved in this endeavor, but it is no longer fundamental as new leaders emerge.