1 1 (March 24, 2020)

handle is hein.crs/govcryz0001 and id is 1 raw text is: 

              Relearh Sevice

Bolivia Postpones May Elections Amidst

COVID-19 Outbreak

Updated March 24, 2020

On March 22, 2020, Bolivia's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) suspended preparations for national
elections scheduled for May 3 following Interim President Jeanette Afiez's declaration of a two-week
national quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-1 9. Bolivia remains extremely polarized following
annulled October 2019 elections alleged to be marred by fraud and the November resignation of President
Evo Morales of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party. Morales's former finance minister Luis
Arce had been leading the polls. According to the TSE, the MAS-led Congress may need to enact
legislation to select a new election date.
The United States remains concerned about the political volatility in Bolivia. The Trump Administration
and Congress have supported efforts to ensure the elections are free and fair.

October Elections Annulled
Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, transformed Bolivia, but observers criticized his effort to
remain in office (he won elections in 2006, 2009, and 2014). In 2017, Bolivia's Constitutional Tribunal
removed limits on reelection established in the 2009 constitution, effectively overruling a 2016
referendum in which voters rejected a constitutional change to allow Morales to run for another term.

         Figure I. Bolivia at a Glance

         La P                  ~0 ~.    ... !ii
   PeverAto~ne 1 1.5l29,Nt

   Key radig pttnes (%tob trlJi Erail 1i.5%

Sources: CRS Graphics, International Monetary Fund (IMF),
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Instituto National de
Estadisticas (INE), Global Trade Atlas (GTA).

Allegations of fraud marred Bolivia's October
election. The TSE said Morales exceeded the 10-
point margin he needed to avoid a runoff over
former president Carlos Mesa, but Mesa rejected
that result. Some protesters called for a new
election; others demanded Morales's resignation.
On November 10, 2019, the Organization of
American States (OAS) issued preliminary
findings suggesting enough irregularities to merit
a new election. Morales agreed to hold new
elections, but the opposition rejected his offer.
Morales resigned after police refused to stop

               Congressional Research Service

Prepared for Mernbers and
Comninttees o4 Congress ....

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