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Izquierda, Jeanine Áñez, foto: Javier Mamani/ Getty Images. Derecha: Evo Morales, foto: Ricardo Ceppi/Getty Images.
Izquierda, Jeanine Áñez, foto: Javier Mamani/ Getty Images. Derecha: Evo Morales, foto:  Ricardo Ceppi/Getty Images.

Jeanine Áñez follows the example of Evo Morales and seeks to continue in power

Jeanine Áñez, Bolivia's interim president, announced her candidacy for the presidential elections, after she insisted she would not and Evo Morales ran for the…

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After former Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived in Argentina last December seeking political asylum, he has been working from Buenos Aires on the upcoming elections.

In an interview with CNN in early January, Morales said he would not run for president, even if he was constitutionally entitled, but that his political refugee status did not prevent him from having a say in his country's circumstances.  So much so that on 4 February he announced that he would be running for the Bolivian Senate for his Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party.

Morales' supporters celebrated the news as a form of resistance to the swearing-in of the current interim president, Jeanine Áñez, in what has been described by the left as a coup d'état...

In contrast, the opposition strongly criticizes him, seeing his effort to reach the legislature as evidence of his obsession with power and as an effort to achieve parliamentary immunity, in order to avoid being prosecuted. Some critics have seen an equivalence between this and the possession of Jimmy Morales in Parlacen: the use of a legislative body for the evasion of justice.

In addition, Bolivia's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) pointed out the following bureaucratic drawbacks to Morales' nomination as senator for Cochabamba: not having provided an original birth certificate, not having a contact cell phone, and not having an original and updated criminal record certificate. If one takes into account that since his arrival in Argentina the government of Áñez had requested him in extradition, the question of how he is going to get such a certificate arises.

Luis Arce, the candidate that MAS presented for the presidential elections, has the same objections. Both Morales and Arce have been pointed out by the opposition as having an additional disadvantage: residing abroad since November of last year, given that the Bolivian constitution establishes that candidates must have been continuously residents in Bolivia for at least two years. 

Jeanine Áñez, contrary to what she said during the past months, since she had said that her job would only consist of "tidying up the house" for the next elections, announced her candidacy for the presidency on January 24.

This, as in the case of Morales, served as evidence for his opponents and won new detractors. The observations against him have become as strong as saying that in Bolivia "the dictator fell, but not the dictatorship".

Áñez and her party, the Social Democratic Movement (MDS), made the decision to run in the face of the impossibility of reaching an agreement with other sectors of the right that would be solid enough to defeat the MAS in the elections. The atomization of the right wing weakens the other opponents of Áñez, Carlos Mesa, Luis Fernando Camacho and Samuel Doria Medina, but this does not mean that their chances of winning have a wide margin.

While in Bolivia, Áñez's detractors are passing the bitter taste of frustration and Evo Morales' supporters are doing paperwork, the former president traveled from Argentina to Cuba for medical treatment, according to a statement released by his entourage and reported by Página 12.

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