Bolivia: amendment on term limits advances

A Bolivian legislative committee approved a bill on Sept. 22 to amend the constitution to extend presidential terms, allowing current President Evo Morales and his vice president to run for a fourth consecutive term in office. The president's party, Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), has a two-thirds majority in the Legislative Assembly, where the bill will be sent next for approval. If the bill passes the Legislative Assembly, then it will face a national referendum in February. Critics call the bill a move by the party to undermine democracy, but supporters say it will free the people to decide the issue.

Morales is the first indigenous president to be elected in Bolivia and has worked towards promoting justice for the country's indigenous population. The Bolivian top electoral court confirmed his reelection last October. In May 2013 Bolivian Vice President Alvaro García Linera signed into law a bill that allowed Morales to run for third term, though the Bolivian Constitution only allows a president to serve two terms. Bolivia's new constitution went into effect in February 2009 placing more power in the hands of the country's indigenous majority. It also created seats in Congress for minority indigenous groups.

From Jurist, Sept. 25. Used with permission.

  1. Bolivia Legislative Assembly approves constitutional change

    Bolivia's Legislative Assembly on Sept. 26 approved a bill to amend the constitution to extend presidential terms. The amendment will allow current President Evo Morales to run for a fourth consecutive term. The bill passed after a 20-hour session with the required two-thirds majority. A national referendum must still be held for the bill to be ratified. (Jurist)