Politics 10-10-2018

Bolivian Congress confirms amnesty for former presidents Quiroga and Mesa

The Legislative Assembly of Bolivia approved with an official decree and rejection of the conservative opposition an amnesty decree in favor of the presidents Jorge Quiroga (2001-2002) and Carlos Mesa (2003-2005).

"The opposition in the Assembly did not support a decree that benefits Mesa and Quiroga, they will have to explain their position to the country, it is contradictory, it has neither feet nor head," the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Gabriela Montaño, told reporters , according to the state news agency ABI.

The ruling Movement Towards Socialism has a qualified majority of more than two thirds in the Assembly and did not need the opposition votes to convert into law the amnesty decree that President Evo Morales signed at the end of September.

The decree preceded the failure of Bolivia in a trial against Chile in the International Court of Justice, and was intended to facilitate the work of the exmandatarios in a possible dialogue between the two countries.

Quiroga faced a trial of responsibilities for having approved oil contracts with foreign firms without authorization from Congress, and Mesa was facing an accusation by the Attorney General as responsible for a mining expropriation that led to an international trial for which Bolivia ended up paying almost 50 million dollars. Dollars.

The opposition, after a debate of more than five hours, ended up denying its support for the decree because it did not achieve that the benefit of the amnesty was extended to all that it considers "persecuted politicians", among them the mayor of the city of Cochabamba (center ), José María Leyes, prosecuted for several corruption cases.

"Apparently there are serious tensions in the opposition that does not allow them to generate agreements towards the elections and translates into contradictory reasons," said deputy Montaño, of the ruling party.

The next general elections, in which Morales will seek to win a fourth consecutive term, are scheduled for October 2019, preceded by primaries in January that have put the opposition in a hurry to define candidacies and possible alliances.

Mesa launched his candidacy for the Left Revolutionary Front, a splinter group of the former Communist Party that at the end of the last century co-governed as an ally of neoliberal parties.

Other opposition forces have not yet announced their electoral decisions, although almost all proclaim the need to constitute a broad front to rival Morales, if they fail to previously disable the candidacy of the indigenous president.

That possible disqualification of Morales is in the hands of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.


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