A late night vote in Bolivia’s Senate, which finally had a quorum after the police stopped blocking the ruling Movement for Socialism (MAS) party from the chamber, has agreed that all parties will work together toward having new elections as soon as possible.
New elections were promised by former President Evo Morales, and are still the goal despite his ouster and exile to Mexico. A lot of details are disputed between Morales’ MAS and self-proclaimed interim president Jeanine Anez, who was endorsed by the US and Bolivia’s military.
Early, free elections are likely to be a matter of dispute, as Anez insisted that, while she will allow the MAS to run a candidate in the vote, they’d better come up with one soon, and that she would absolutely forbid Morales from running again.
It’s not clear if legally she can bar Morales from the campaign, and the MAS has majority in both houses of Congress. Anez is, however, scrambling to shuffle military leadership and install a new cabinet that will secure her power.
That too is a matter of polarization, as Anez’s new cabinet conspicuously excluded all indigenous people, despite indigenous Bolivians making up 40% of the population. Anez was criticized in the past for racist comments about indigenous people, suggesting the “city is not for Indians” and that she dreams of a Bolivia “free of satanic indigenous rites.”