- Title: Bolivia's Morales looks to engineer election win from afar, find successor
- Date: 17th December 2019
- Summary: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (DECEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS) FORMER BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT EVO MORALES WALKING INTO ROOM TO GIVE NEWS CONFERENCE MORALES SITTING DOWN GENERAL OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FORMER BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT EVO MORALES, SAYING: ''If they (opposition) propose free and transparent elections and the political persecution ends and may I be allowed to go back to Bolivia. I am not a candidate. I will not be a candidate as things are, but I have the right to do politics as a politician.'' GENERAL OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FORMER BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT EVO MORALES, SAYING: ''I am very optimistic that my brothers and sisters are going to be able to continue our process of change and that is why I want to tell you that if they don't allow me to enter, I will see how to do it accompanied by personalities, by the media, to be over there and campaign.'' VARIOUS OF MORALES DURING NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FORMER BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT EVO MORALES, SAYING: ''My obligation now that I am not a candidate or president, is to accompany the candidate to win the elections. That is the greatest wish I have.'' GENERAL OF MORALES DURING NEWS CONFERENCE MORALES TAKING NOTES (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FORMER BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT EVO MORALES, SAYING: ''With this report they will set Bolivia on fire and there will be casualties. The OAS and Luis Almagro are responsible for those dead.'' MORALES DURING NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FORMER BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT EVO MORALES, SAYING: ''Now with these (new) elections there can be fraud. My request is that experts, whether they are from the left or from the right, enforce the rules. I want not only observers but also an electoral commission. Hopefully the United Nations, hopefully the council of the Nobel Peace Prize, hopefully the Carter Centre, I have a lot of respect for, some organisations, except the OAS.'' END OF NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 31st December 2019 17:04
- Keywords: Argentina Bolivia Bolivian politics Evo Morales Evo Morales says he can stay in politics MAS party Morales
- Location: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
- City: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
- Country: Argentina
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001BAD81TZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Bolivia's former President Evo Morales defended his right to be involved in politics on Tuesday (December 17) and said he would campaign to help his socialist party win new elections after he resigned under pressure in November and sought refuge abroad.
The leftist leader, in his first press conference since arriving in Argentina last week, said he planned to remain active in his Movement to Socialism (MAS) party as it mulls several names for candidacy in the next elections.
"I am not a candidate. I will not be a candidate as things are, but I have the right to do politics." Morales said.
Morales named Luis Arce Catacora, his former economy minister, and Andronico Rodriguez, a key coca farmer union boss, as potential MAS presidential candidates.
A date for the next elections has not been set.
Morales, who had been in power for nearly 14 years, resigned and left Bolivia in mid-November after an Organization of American States audit found serious irregularities in the way votes were counted in the Oct. 20 election.
Morales resigned under pressure from the armed forces and maintains that he was ousted in a right-wing "coup." He left for Mexico where he spent about a month before flying to Buenos Aires.
After interim Bolivian President Jeanine Anez took over, lawmakers passed a bill that bars candidates who have already served two presidential terms, eliminating Morales from the race.
Morales arrived in Argentina two days after the inauguration of President Alberto Fernandez who had said before taking office that Morales would be welcome in the country.
(Production: Miguel Lo Bianco, Juan Bustamante)
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