- Title: Bolivian opposition urges Morales to give up bid for fourth presidential term
- Date: 18th April 2017
- Summary: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE - FEBRUARY 21, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE VOTING IN FEBRUARY 21 REFERENDUM ON EXTENDING THE PRESIDENT'S MANDATE LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE - FEBRUARY 21, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE RALLYING AND MARCHING IN FAVOUR OF A "NO" VOTE IN THE REFERENDUM
- Embargoed: 2nd May 2017 20:54
- Keywords: Evo Morales Bolivia reelection Paraguay
- Location: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- City: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0026CXGA4J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Opposition leaders urged Bolivian president Evo Morales on Tuesday (April 18) to follow in the steps of ParaguayÂ´s leader and give up the bid to run for what would be the leftist leaderÂ´s fourth presidential term.
Morales has said he may run for a fourth consecutive term in the 2019 elections despite losing the February 21 referendum that would have reformed the country's constitution to allow him to run again.
Former president and opposition lawmaker of the Christian Democrat party, Jorge Tuto Quiroga, urged Morales to respect the constitution and write a letter saying he would not seek a further term.
He called on Morales to follow in the footsteps of Paraguay's President Horacio Cartes who on Monday (April 17) said he would not be a candidate in Paraguay's 2018 election regardless of whether or not Congress passes a controversial amendment to allow second terms. CortesÂ´s announcement came after protesters set fire to Congress on March 31 following a secret vote in the Senate in favour of the amendment.
Morales told reporters on Monday he had no intention of debating with the right-wing opposition, that they had no programme to debate but a string of lies. He said his intention was to debate with the people.
Morales previously accepted the results of the February 2016 referendum, in which 51.3 percent of voters voted against changing the constitution to allow him to run for a new term, but blamed the loss on a smear campaign by the right-wing opposition.
To allow Morales to run despite the referendum loss, the country could hold a new referendum, or the legislature - controlled by his party - could approve a new constitutional referendum with a two-thirds vote. Morales could also resign six months before the end of his term to run again.
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