Bishops seek audit of Bolivian election as protests become violent
The Bolivian bishops called on politicians in the South American country to respect the will of the people and review the results of the recent election that gave President Evo Morales a fourth consecutive term.
The result was not recognised by the country’s opposition parties, and thousands of Bolivians have been taking to the streets each day to protest what they see as a fraudulent election. Two people have died and dozens have been injured in clashes between protesters and government supporters.
In a statement issued on 31st October, the bishops’ conference suggested that the only way out of the political crisis is for the government, opposition parties and civil society groups to conduct a “wholesome audit” of the election that will determine if it was fair, or if a runoff vote needs to be held between Morales and his main rival, Carlos Mesa.
The conference said this audit needs to evaluate which laws were broken before the election and also if votes were properly counted. The bishops also called on the government and opposition parties to negotiate how an audit could be held, and agree to abide by its results.
“We are seeking a peaceful way to end this crisis” said Carlos Cordero, a political adviser for the Bolivian bishops’ conference.
Picture: Demonstrators take part in a protest against Bolivian President Evo Morales and the election results in Santa Cruz on 27th October 2019. The Bolivian bishops called on politicians in the South American country to respect “the will of the people” and review the results of the recent election that gave Morales a fourth consecutive term. (CNS photo/Ueslei Marcelino, Reuters).