Court blocks senate bid by ousted Bolivian leader Morales

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — A Bolivian court has blockied ousted former Prsident Evo Morales from seeking a senate seat in the country’s October elections, arguing that the ex-leader, living in Argentina, doesn’t meet residency requirements.

Morales sent a tweet saying he would not appeal Monday’s decision, though he said before the ruling that the court was acting “under threats and pressures,” and he considered the ruling “political and illegal.”

The ruling eliminates the possibility that Morales could obtain parliamentary immunity against sedition and other charges against him, but his Movement Toward Socialism party still controls the Legislative Assengly and polls indicate it remains the frontrunner for the Oct. 18 vote.

After 14 years in power, Morales resigned under pressure from the military and police on Nov. 10 amid widespread protests and disturbances alleging he was attempting to fraudulently claim reelection. He went into exile, first in Mexico and later in Argentina.

After several people in the line of succession also stepped aside, conservative Sen. Jeanine Áñez claimed the inteim presidency and her administration has tried to reverse many of Morales’ leftist policies and foreign alliances.

A recent poll by the Unitel teleivison network showed the candidate of Morales’ party, Luis Arce, supported by 26 percent of those surveyed, trailed by former President Carlos Meza, Áñez and five other candidates. It’s likely a second round would be held.

The telephone poll of 2,343 people was conducted Aug 26 to Sept. 3 and had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.