LA PAZ – Bolivia’s President Evo Morales confirmed on Thursday that he will seek what would be a fourth consecutive term in office in elections scheduled for 2019.
In a speech in the central region of Cochabamba, Morales said US threats and interference in the Andean nation’s internal affairs had been the catalyst for his decision.
“I wasn’t that certain. Now I am. I’ll be a candidate in 2019,” the leftist head of state said.
The US State Department on Wednesday expressed concern over this week’s Constitutional Tribunal ruling that found that constitutionally mandated term limits for the president and other officeholders violate Article 23 of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights.
The court found in favor of a motion brought by the governing MAS party challenging several articles of the constitution and provisions of the electoral law.
Under the 2009 constitution enacted by Morales, the president is limited to two consecutive terms.
The US State Department said Tuesday’s ruling disregarded the will of the Bolivian people, noting that they had voted in a referendum to approve the 2009 constitution and that in a February 2016 plebiscite they had rejected Morales’ bid to amend the constitution to allow him to run for re-election once again in 2019.
Morales and Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera started their first term in 2006, their second in 2010 and their third in 2015. They were allowed to seek a third mandate thanks to a ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal that the adoption of the new national charter in 2009 re-set the clock on terms in office.
A fourth term would extend Morales’ tenure to 2025.