La Paz, Feb. 1 (EFE). – The demand of social sectors opposed to Evo Morales to face his party in the next elections in Bolivia with a single front did not achieve a positive response from the five main candidates, although they left the door open to a possible evaluation of applications within two months.
The meeting of candidates organized this Saturday in the eastern city of Santa Cruz by the civic committee of the homonymous region ended after about six hours with a document that speaks of unity, without there being a commitment of the desired common front for the General elections next May 3.RELATED
The interim president, Jeanine Áñez, ex-president Carlos Mesa and Jorge Quiroga, former civic leader Luis Fernando Camacho and Presbyterian pastor Chi Hyun Chung participated in the meeting.
After the meeting, the president of the Cruz Civic Committee, Romulo Calvo, read a document bearing his signature and those of the five participating candidates who ratified ‘their obligation to achieve unity’ for democracy and pledged to ensure ‘that the tyranny and the dictatorship will not rule again in Bolivia. ‘
The forces that achieve representation in the national Legislature promised to seek ‘a parliamentary consensus’ that guarantees ‘peaceful government management’.
A campaign ‘clean, peaceful and tolerant’, in addition to transparency regarding the economic resources that will be used for it are other commitments of these politicians ‘so that the bad practices of the past do not return’.
The final point of the ‘Agreement for the unity of Bolivia’ indicates April 3, one month before the elections, as the date for a new meeting in which the ‘campaign development’ will be evaluated with a view to ‘avoiding the dispersion of the vote ‘.
With that objective, this meeting will seek to make “some final decision” regarding those candidates that “may not have the electoral preference,” Calvo said.
The civic leader from Santa Cruz stressed that there is a commitment to see that possibility that is ‘on the table’.
“We know we have a common enemy and we are all going to work to prevent it from reactivating itself or being in the central government again,” Calvo said.
The meeting included speeches, debates and a private meeting between the five candidates and some representatives of the civic committee of Santa Cruz.
In her speech, President Áñez reiterated that she had no intention of running, but that she finally did it when she saw that there was “no type of conditions for a unit”.
The president protested against those who have criticized him and considered ‘disrespectful’ to have been ‘used’ to show his face during the conflicts after the resignation of Evo Morales.
In his opinion, the alliance of political groupings with which he will be presented to the elections shows ‘that the unity of the country’ that they offer ‘is the possible unity’.
For his part, Mesa considered that it would be a ‘lack of respect’ towards his opponents to ask them to unite around his candidacy and defended that pluralism is a ‘fundamental mechanism of democracy’.
“Let us affirm our will to build a democracy for all, but let us also affirm that it is legitimate for us to have differences,” said the former president, for whom it is a “significant advance” that the five politicians have come together and could express’ with truthfulness and freedom ‘ your ideas.
The political organizations have until Monday, February 3 to register their candidates for the Presidency, Vice Presidency, Senate and Deputies.
As it happened before the failed elections of last October, the social groups that rejected the re-election of Evo Morales have claimed that the rest of the formations join in a single front against their party, the Movement to Socialism (MAS), considering that it maintains an important support in the Bolivian electorate.
It will be the first election that the MAS will face without Morales as a presidential candidate, something that he had managed to avoid so far with legal resources that allowed him to stand for the 2014 and 2019 elections despite the constitutional limit of two continuous mandates.
That party has opted for former Minister Luis Arce as his candidate, while Morales directs the campaign from Argentina, where he requested refuge, and has been invited by his party to present himself as an aspiring deputy or senator.
The former indigenous president was declared the winner in the October elections, then annulled, with a small margin over Carlos Mesa.
These elections were annulled between allegations of fraud in favor of Morales and reports of international organizations warning of irregularities, while the ex-president states that there was a coup d’etat to not recognize his victory and overthrow him. EFE
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