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Protests follow court backing for Morales' fourth-term bid

World2018-12-07

Thousands of Bolivians took part in protest marches across Bolivia on Thursday amid a general strike called by opponents of President Evo Morales' bid for a fourth term.Protestors blocked streets in the capital La Paz and other main cities, many waving Bolivian flags and banners saying "Bolivia said No," a reference to a 2016 referendum ignored by Morales.Interior Minister Carols Romero played down the blockades and said the country was working "as normal."Banking and other businesses remained open in defiance of the general strike call, despite the widespread disruption of public transport.A woman talks to riot policemen during the protest against Bolivia's President Evo Morales' bid for re-election in 2019, in La Paz, December 6, 2018. /VCG PhotoThe government said 5,000 people took part in the protests."The results are far from what the organizers were looking for," said Alfredo Rada, minister with responsibility for the presidency.The protests follow the decision Tuesday by Bolivia's Supreme Electoral Court to give a green light for long-serving Morales, who has been in power since 2003, to seek a fourth term.The ruling party last year dismissed the result of the 2016 referendum that denied Morales the possibility of seeking a fourth term as president.His main opponent in the October 2019 elections, ex-president Carlos Mesa, called on the opposition to wage "a democratic battle" against the court decision.The biggest protests came in the eastern province of Santa Cruz, whose governor Ruben Costas heads opposition to Morales.(AFP)

Thousands of Bolivians took part in protest marches across Bolivia on Thursday amid a general strike called by opponents of President Evo Morales' bid for a fourth term.

Protestors blocked streets in the capital La Paz and other main cities, many waving Bolivian flags and banners saying "Bolivia said No," a reference to a 2016 referendum ignored by Morales.

Interior Minister Carols Romero played down the blockades and said the country was working "as normal."

Banking and other businesses remained open in defiance of the general strike call, despite the widespread disruption of public transport.

A woman talks to riot policemen during the protest against Bolivia's President Evo Morales' bid for re-election in 2019, in La Paz, December 6, 2018. /VCG Photo

The government said 5,000 people took part in the protests.

"The results are far from what the organizers were looking for," said Alfredo Rada, minister with responsibility for the presidency.

The protests follow the decision Tuesday by Bolivia's Supreme Electoral Court to give a green light for long-serving Morales, who has been in power since 2003, to seek a fourth term.

The ruling party last year dismissed the result of the 2016 referendum that denied Morales the possibility of seeking a fourth term as president.

His main opponent in the October 2019 elections, ex-president Carlos Mesa, called on the opposition to wage "a democratic battle" against the court decision.

The biggest protests came in the eastern province of Santa Cruz, whose governor Ruben Costas heads opposition to Morales.

(AFP)

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