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LATIN AMERICA | 02-06-2020 18:54

Pandemic-delayed Bolivian election set for September 6

The election – called after the annulment of a controversial poll in October – was originally due to take place on May 3 but was postponed indefinitely in March with Bolivia in virus lockdown.

Bolivia's general election that was delayed over the coronavirus pandemic will take place on September 6 following an agreement with political parties, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) said on Tuesday.

The election – called after the annulment of a controversial poll in October – was originally due to take place on May 3 but was postponed indefinitely in March with Bolivia in virus lockdown.

TSE president Salvador Romero said the date would be fixed as soon as parliament signs it into law.

Voters were due to head to the polls on May 3 to elect a permanent successor to former president Evo Morales, who resigned in November and now lives in exile in Argentina.

But after interim President Jeanine Añez declared a total quarantine, the TSE indefinitely postponed the election and called for a "broad and pluralistic dialogue with all the political organisations participating in the process" to determine "a new date".

October's general election was annulled after an audit by the Organisation of American States found clear evidence it had been rigged.

Socialist Morales had controversially won the election but that led to three weeks of at times violent protests before he resigned and fled the country.

Conservative Añez, who had been the Senate vice-president until then, assumed the interim presidency with a mandate to organise new elections.

Morales has been barred from standing for president again or seeking a seat in the Senate.

Bolivia, a country of 11.5 million people, has recorded more than 10,500 coronavirus cases and 343 deaths. When the election was postponed in March, there had been just 19 confirmed cases.

Romero said the TSE would work to ensure health measures were respected during the election.

– AFP

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