Bolivia orders arrest of ex-president Morales

Bolivia orders arrest of ex-president Morales
Bolivia orders arrest of ex-president Morales

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Morales fled Bolivia for Argentina last month after civil unrest broke out following his controversial re-election in an October 20 poll widely denounced as rigged. — Reuters pic

LA PAZ, Dec 19 ― Bolivia's attorney general yesterday ordered the arrest of exiled former president Evo Morales after the interim government accused him of sedition and terrorism.

Public prosecutors in La Paz signed a warrant for police to detain the 60-year-old and take him to the attorney general's office.

Morales fled Bolivia for Argentina last month after civil unrest broke out following his controversial re-election in an October 20 poll widely denounced as rigged.

The former trade union leader denounced the arrest order as “illegal, unfair and unconstitutional” on Twitter.

“I'm not worried, as long as I'm alive I'll continue with greater strength in the political and ideological struggle for a free and sovereign Bolivia,” he said.

Morales ruled the South American country for almost 14 years before resigning last month and leaving Bolivia to accept asylum first in Mexico and then Argentina, where he arrived last week.

October's poll was annulled following an Organization of American States (OAS) audit that found clear evidence of vote rigging.

Right-wing deputy senate leader Jeanine Anez took over as interim president and has vowed to call new elections early next year, although no date has been set.

The interim government has barred Morales from standing in those elections.

Bolivia's constitution limits a president to two consecutive terms but Morales stood for a potential fourth term in October.

Ahead of the last two elections, the constitutional court ― filled with Morales loyalists ― made controversial decisions authorising him to run again.

His detractors accused him of corruption and authoritarianism.

Speaking from Buenos Aires on Tuesday, Morales pledged to back another candidate from his Movement for Socialism party this time around.

“I'm convinced that we'll win the next elections. I won't be a candidate but I have a right to be in politics,” Morales told reporters.

“My obligation now that I'm not a candidate, now that I'm not president, is to accompany candidates so that they can win the elections,” added Morales, who was Bolivia's first ever indigenous president.

Previously he insisted he'd been the victim of a coup and has launched near-daily Twitter attacks against Anez and her allies.

Earlier yesterday he claimed US President Donald ― who hit out against Morales on Tuesday for provoking violence in his country from afar ―  was behind the “coup.” ― AFP

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