Bolivian court clears the way for Morales to run for fourth term | Reuters

 Bolivian court clears the way for Morales to run for fourth term | ReutersLA PAZ (Reuters) - Bolivia’s highest court struck down limits on re-election in the country’s constitution and election laws on Tuesday, paving the way for socialist President Evo Morales to run for a fourth term in 2019. A supporter of Bolivia's President Evo Morales attends a meeting on a bid to declare his indefinite re-election in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, November 21, 2017. REUTERS/David MercadoIn September, Morales’ Movement to Socialism (MAS) party asked the South American country’s highest court to rescind legal limits barring elected authorities from seeking re-election indefinitely, arguing that these violate human rights. “All people that were limited by the law and the constitution are hereby able to run for office, because it is up to the Bolivian people to decide,” Macario Lahor Cortez, head of the Plurinational Constitutional Court, wrote in the ruling. In the decision, the court cited the American Convention on Human Rights, a multilateral treaty signed by many countries in the Americas. The ruling is final and cannot be appealed. Supporters of Bolivia's President Evo Morales prepare for a meeting on a bid to declare his indefinite re-election in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, November 21, 2017. REUTERS/David MercadoMorales, who took power in 2006, had previously accepted the results of a 2016 referendum, when 51 percent of Bolivian voters rejected his proposal to reform the constitution to end existing term limits. He later reversed course and said that while he would happily give up office, his supporters were pushing for him to stay. The landlocked Andean country has enjoyed relative prosperity and calm under Morales, the country’s first indigenous president. But his efforts to extend term limits have set off protests across the country, with opponents arguing Morales was trying to tighten his grip on power in the vein of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a leftist ally. Opposition leader Samuel Doria Medina said on Twitter that the court decision was “a blow to the constitution”.

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Updated Date: Nov 29, 2017 04:45:10 IST