new presidential election on May 3

Former President of Bolivia Evo Morales leaves a press conference in Buenos Aires on January 2.
Former President of Bolivia Evo Morales leaves a press conference in Buenos Aires on January 2. Marcos Brindicci / AP

Bolivians will appoint their president on May 3, more than six months after the controversial election that sparked a violent social revolt and the departure of head of state Evo Morales, the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) announced on Friday January 3. "On Sunday May 3, citizens will vote to elect the Presidency and the Legislative Assembly", TSE President Salvador Romero said at a press conference.

First indigenous president of Bolivia, Evo Morales resigned on November 10 after 14 years in power after being released by the police and the army, under pressure from opposition demonstrations which contested his re-election on October 20 for a fourth mandate. The unrest had left 35 people dead, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Morales, who had been in power since 2006, then took refuge in Mexico and then in Argentina. He claims to be the victim of a plot by Carlos Mesa, who was his main rival in the presidential election.

The interim government, led by former Senate vice-president Jeanine Anez, issued an arrest warrant in mid-December against the former president for sedition and terrorism.

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Ballot irregularities

An audit by the Organization of American States (OAS) confirmed irregularities in the ballot. The election of October 20 was therefore canceled, the former members of the TSE who had awarded the victory in the first round to Evo Morales were arrested. He will not be able to stand for election on May 3.

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Among the possible candidates, the young peasant leader Andronico Rodriguez, considered as the political heir to Mr. Morales, is the favorite of the polls with 23% of the voting intentions, even if he still has to get the nomination of his party.

Former centrist President Carlos Mesa is currently second in the polls with 21% of the voting intentions. Right-wing regional leaders Luis Fernando Camacho and Marco Antonio Pumari, who played a key role in the fall of Mr. Morales, follow far behind with 13% and 10% respectively.

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