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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Bolivia's President Morales: A De-Facto Dictator Undemocratically Removed from Office

Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, resigned on November 10, 2019 after an audit by the Organization of American States found that the results of the election held the previous month could not be validated because of “serious irregularities,” including “failures in the chain of custody for ballots, alteration and forgery of electoral material, redirection of data to unauthorized servers and data manipulation.”[1] Election officials had stopped the count for about 24 hours without explanation; when the count resumed, Morales’ lead was much greater. Accordingly, along with Morales, the vice president, and the president of the state senate, the president and vice president of the electoral council resigned. Before the end of the day, the two officials of the council had been arrested for “electoral crimes.”[2] Although the state police were justified in arresting the officials, I submit that the police acted beyond their proper sphere when they joined with the military, which also acted beyond its sphere, to force Morales to resign.

[1] Kay Guerrero and Dakin Andone, “Bolivian President Evo Morales Steps Down Following Accusations of Election Fraud,” CNN.com, November 10, 2019 (accessed on November 12, 2019).
[2] Ibid.