Elections in Bolivia, 17 years after the coup that began the dictatorial era

Elections in Bolivia, 17 years after the coup that began the dictatorial era

The elections conducted this 18th of October are elections held under a dictatorship and without any of democracy’s essential components, to wit; there is no “rule of law” because a counterfeited constitution and laws govern, there is usurpation of functions, and violence was used to supplant the Constitution and the Republic of Bolivia. There is no separation and independence in any of the branches of government because the legislative, judicial and a great part of the executive are in control of the dictatorial regime. There is no unhindered political organization because political persecution and exile continue to be meted-out by the dictatorship’s judges and prosecutors while, at the same time, they grant impunity to the fugitive dictator, there is no respect for human rights and individual basic rights because there is neither rule of law, nor independence of the branches of government.

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The rupture of democracy in Bolivia is the result of a 17 October 2003 coup d’état that started an accelerated process of institutional destruction of the Republic of Bolivia that led up to the supplantation of the republic’s Constitution and the imposition of a “Plurinational State” as the dictatorship’s structural foundation. Seventeen years after that fateful coup d’état that started the installation of the dictatorship, Bolivian peoples go to elections without democracy, elections in which the stakes are; the return of the dictator, or the beginning of a transition towards democracy for the return to the Republic.

Having wrecked democracy, dictatorial operators established “October’s Agenda”, setting as their objectives; the “constituent assembly”, the “nationalization of all fossil fuels”, the “ban on the sale of gas to the United States by way of Chile”, the “elimination of neo-liberalism”, the “legal prosecution of officials from the toppled government” and thus a new de-facto period had started in Bolivia. The rule of law had been broken and the breakdown of the Republic institutionalism had begun.

Carlos Mesa signed Amnesty Decrees 27234 and 27237 to grant legal impunity to the topplers involved in the October of 2003 coup. This way, ironically, Evo Morales could then be the accuser, removing prosecutors who rejected the prosecution and trial of toppled government officials. Soon thereafter they counterfeited constitutional reform limitations with the passage of Law 2631 of 20 February 2004 through which, fraudulently, the conformation of a Constituent Assembly was introduced for the purpose of the total reform of the Constitution that the very same Constitution prohibited. The resignation of Carlos Mesa with a new coup preventing the constitutional succession to the presidency by the President of the Senate Hormando Vaca Diez, enabled the holding of elections in 2005 which were suitable to the new regime, despite the legally and constitutionally mandated and unfulfilled presidential term from 2002 to 2007.

Evo Morales, protected by the amnesty decrees, ascended to the presidency on 22 January of 2006 with a mandate of a five-year term and without the possibility to be consecutively reelected and remained there almost 14 years. Using the counterfeited and fraudulently passed Law 2631, he installed and manipulated a Constituent Assembly whose drafted constitution he disavowed and changed with yet one other despicable Law 3941 of 21 October 2008 through which the Constituent Assembly was supplanted. This way, the Constitution of the so-called “Plurinational State” is not the one drafted by the Constituent Assembly, but is certainly the one the dictatorship needs.

The elections conducted this 18th of October are elections held under a dictatorship and without any of democracy’s essential components, to wit; there is no “rule of law” because a counterfeited constitution and laws govern, there is usurpation of functions, and violence was used to supplant the Constitution and the Republic of Bolivia. There is no separation and independence in any of the branches of government because the legislative, judicial and a great part of the executive are in control of the dictatorial regime. There is no unhindered political organization because political persecution and exile continue to be meted-out by the dictatorship’s judges and prosecutors while, at the same time, they grant impunity to the fugitive dictator, there is no respect for human rights and individual basic rights because there is neither rule of law, nor independence of the branches of government.

The most notable and serious in these elections is that they are neither free nor fair because there is no “Universal Suffrage”. Universal Suffrage is, by definition “The equality of all votes because it is not only about making sure that all citizens are given an opportunity to vote, but ensuring that all of these votes have the same weight”. The rule is simple “one person, one vote” and this does not happen in Bolivia because the dictatorship’s constitution and laws have eliminated the equality of all citizens with a system that “with relative minorities they create absolute majorities” with allocations to the seats of congress, with 7 members of the House of Representatives designated by a fascist, corporativist system.

The interim government of Janine Anez made no transition towards democracy and will be remembered in history books as “a government who gave continuance to the dictatorship”, one who took the country to elections without any guarantees, elections who were an ambush to the nation. The axis of confrontation in these elections is the dictatorship against democracy and the republic. Under the dictatorship’s system, with totally adverse conditions, Bolivian people seek a President who can start the transition towards democracy and who can restore the republic.

If the dictatorship’s candidate Luis Arce ascends to power, the return of Evo Morales with impunity will be a sure thing to continue the Castro Chavist project with the elimination of the Bolivian National Police and the creation of militias to replace the Armed Forces, just as Evo Morales had anticipated would be done. If Carlos Mesa or Luis Fernando Camacho ascend to the presidency, the peoples’ mandate is to go back to the republic and democracy.

Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators Association, ATA # 234680.

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