Jeanine Anez, leader of Bolivia’s interim government, on Sunday enacted a law that calls for a new round of presidential elections to be held within four months.
The law nullifies the controversial outcome of the previous Oct. 20 general elections, which were contested by the opposition, and requires the renovation of the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) through the designation of new members.
“My government’s objective is to call new elections in as short a time as possible. We are on the road to restoring peace, reaching agreements with the social movements, and we will continue to dialogue,” said Anez.
Bolivia has been roiled by political instability since the existing TSE declared Evo Morales was reelected to a fourth term with the 10 points needed to defeat his closest rival, sparking outrage from the conservative opposition.
Following weeks of opposition protests, and the army and police force taking side with his political opponents, Morales resigned and flew to Mexico, where he had been offered asylum.
The new law was drafted by the interim government with the help of international organizations, and was approved by Congress, where lawmakers belonging to Morales’ Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party holds a two-thirds majority.
It bars Morales and his vice president, Alvaro Garcia Linera, who also resigned, from running for their old posts by stipulating that any candidate who has already served two consecutive terms cannot immediately run for the same office.
According to Anez, the major challenge now is renewing the electoral body and regional electoral courts, and preparing the list of registered voters.
The Legislative Assembly must elect the members of the TSE over the next 20 days, after which the electoral body will have 48 hours to fix a date for the elections.
Anez’s interim minister of culture, Martha Yujra, a Bolivian of indigenous descent, urged Bolivians in the Aymara language toward reconciliation, unity, and tolerance.