Political Crisis in Bolivia - know all about it - Seeker's Thoughts

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Political Crisis in Bolivia - know all about it


Over 23 people were killed and 715 injured since the beginning of the institutional and political crises in Bolivia.

The country is facing a political crisis since October 20, 2019, presidential election. A disputed presidential election led to nationwide strikes that paralyzed the South American nation.


Bolivian authorities are under pressure to deliver a free and fair election Evo morale’s government collapsed amid protests.



Who is Evo Morales?


Evo Morales is at the center of the crisis. He became Bolivia’s first indigenous president in 2006 and rules the country until November 10, 2019. His prudence by leftist policies that diverted revenues from natural resources to indigenous communities.


Carlos Mesa, who served president from 2002 to 2005, leads the opposition. The center-right politician has accused authorities and Morales of stealing the vote. He called on Morales to resign and stand down from running for the presidency.


Why did the crisis start?


The anti-government protests have their roots in civil unrest triggered by a failed referendum to expand presidential term limits, a move seen by critics as a ploy by Morales to hold on to power. Despite his failure to secure a legally viable route to run for the presidency again, he decided to do so anyway.
              
The election went ahead on October 20. However, electoral authorities stopped issuing incremental updates to the vote count midway through the process, triggering concerns of electoral fraud. The authority then declared Morals the outright winner, saying he won a 10 – percentage-point lead, effectively preventing a run-off vote.


Protests erupted the day after the vote, drawing hundreds to the streets in La Paz at first and then tens of thousands in the following weeks. At least three people have been killed and hundreds more injured in clashes with police.




Republic of Bolivia


Bolivia is the highest most isolated land lock country in South America. It has the largest proportion of indigenous people, who make up around two-thirds of the population.


The country has the second-largest reserves of natural gas in South America, but there have been long-running tensions over the exploitation and export of the resource. Indigenous groups say the country should not relinquish control of the reserves, which they see as Bolivia's sole remaining natural resource.

                                 

Bolivia has the second-largest reserve of natural; gas in South America, but there have been long-running tensions over the exploitation and export of the resources.

It is also one of the world’s largest producers of coca, the raw material for cocaine. A crop-eradication program, though easing the flow of conditional US aid, has incensed many of Bolivia’s poorest farmers for whom coca is often the only source of income.


Evo Morales supported coca-growers as their leader, he was also the first president to emerge from the social movements whose protests forced Bolivia’s two previous presidents from office.



Evo Morales resigns why?


Right after a report released by the Human Rights Organization of American States report alleging gross manipulations of an election computer system, Morales announced fresh elections and vowed to reform the electoral commission.


A few hours later, heads of the military and police demanded Morales step down in a bid to end deadly civil unrest. Morales then announced his resignation from his native coca-growing region, with some describing the military’s intervention as a coupt d’état. Subsequently, Morals headed to Mexico, where he was granted asylum.


What did Evo Morales say?


In a news channel interview Morales said – what charges can they bring against me? Electoral Fraud? Do I administer the electoral commission? He continued, arguing that several members of that body were key opposition figures.

He also rejected the idea that he could be banned from any future vote. 


Who is in charge?


The military, and senator Jeanine Anez Chavez declaring herself the nation’s interim leader. She was previously director of the Total vision TV station and has been a senator since 2010.

Her temporary control of the body right after Bolivia’s vice-president and the leaders of the senate and lower house resigned.

That put her next in the line for the presidency under the constitution. The appointment of Anez, an opposition senator, as an interim leader has been endorsed by Bolivia’s constitutional court.


What are other countries' reactions?


Most of the western countries have welcomed the news of fresh elections, saying it is necessary to guarantee a free and fair electoral process.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, said she also supported a new election with a renewed and independently appointed electoral authority.


US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the new vote has the full support of the White House. The Bolivian people deserve free and fair elections.

Russia, instead, viewed the unrest as attempts to unseat Morales, describing it as an opposition campaign of violence against the country.


What will happen next?


Bolivia will now move forward with new presidential elections. However, it is unclear whether Morals will stand as a candidate. Mexico has offered to provide asylum to Morales if he decides to flee the country.



Under Bolivia’s constitution, Anez now has 90 days to call a fresh election. The interim leader said she was committed to holding new polls and taking all measures necessary to pacify the country.

She will have to name a new transition cabinet to govern the country until a new president is elected.


Some interesting facts about Bolivia

1. Bolivia is a landlocked South American country.
2. Bolivia was known as Upper Peru during the Spanish rule.
3. Spanish is the native tongue of more than 40% of the country’s population. Quechua and Aymara are among the official languages of Bolivia. In rural areas, indigenous people speak their own languages.
4. One of the world’s largest butterfly sanctuaries, which spans 24 hectares, is in Bolivia. It is located 20 minutes from downtown Santa Cruz and is open 365 days a year.

5. Tiwanaku, located in Bolivia, is among South America’s most intriguing archaeological sites.


6. Bolivia also has Lake Titicaca, which is the world’s highest navigable lake at 12,507 (3810 m) feet above sea level. It has a surface area of 8,300 square kilometers. It is shared between Bolivia and Peru.
7. The Dolphins (Bolivian Bufeo) in the Amazon in Bolivia are pink. It has been declared Bolivia’s Natural Heritage.
8. The guinea pig is a delicacy in Bolivia. It is usually served whole, with the legs and head pointing up.




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