General elections held this past 18th of October in Bolivia have been conducted with “systematic and factual fraud”, a double electoral fraud that is being covered-up by Bolivian authorities and -to say the least- is being ignored by international organizations and democratic governments, while the swearing-in of illegitimate candidates with questionable lawfulness is being expedited. Elections with the absence of essential components of democracy and with guarantees of impunity for those breaking the law are neither free, nor fair. The denial to review the facts, the causes that may make these elections null, and the denounced fraud, are setting the precedent of cover-up with dangerous consequences for the country and the Americas.
The interim government, the candidates from the opposition, Evo Morales’ candidates and Bolivia’s electoral authorities are eager to close the 18th of October elections describing these as democratic and perfect. An illegal and dangerous objective that bluntly violates the rights of voters and promotes confrontation. Taking these actions induce democratic governments and international organizations to err and cover-up facts that, with the passing of every day, are increasingly evident. The rush to legitimize the fraud is so great and suspicious that they have moved up the date to transfer the presidential mandate to this coming 8th of November.
The systematic fraud, in other words “the illicit intervention in the electoral process for the purpose of preventing, annulling, or modifying the real results in order to benefit a candidate or political party” is found in the constitution of the so-called Plurinational State and is the direct result of counterfeiting and supplantation that -even though affirms to have “universal suffrage” it ignores it by implementing “citizen’s inequality”, “discrimination”, and “confrontation”. The basis for fraud in the system are Evo Morales’ dictatorial laws that using the mold and framework of 21st Century Socialism or Castrochavism, are enforced in Bolivia.
We are urged to remember that the essential components of democracy, according to Article 3 of the Interamerican Democratic Charter are; “respect for human rights and basic freedoms, access to power and its exercise subject to the rule of law; the conducting of periodic, free, and fair elections based on universal suffrage concepts for secret voting as an expression of the peoples’ sovereignty, to have a plurality of political parties and organizations, and to have the separation and independence of the branches of government”. Belaboring on this point, it is necessary to reiterate that in Bolivia none of those components exist.
Following the proved electoral fraud committed by Evo Morales and his regime in, and for, the 20 October 2019 elections whose flagrancy generated the civil resistance of the Bolivian people and the resignation and flight of Morales, NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN THE DICTATORIAL LEGAL SYSTEM IN BOLIVIA. A system with which the counterfeiting, supplantation, alterations, and all sorts of crime were prepared and committed and constitute fraud. Perpetrators of those crimes have continued to go unpunished and are candidates for elections, the mechanism -the disqualified MAS political party- was enabled to continue as a political party.
Don’t authorities remember and democratic governments and international observers know that 18 October 2020 as the date for elections to take place, was set using violence and intimidation with new crime and led to the death of 40 people with the so-called “oxygen blockade” in the midst of the pandemic? Don’t they know that the legislative branch, judges, prosecutors, the executive’s structure, the Constitutional Tribunal that ruled that “Evo Morales has the human right to indefinitely be a candidate” continue to be the same people and represent the INEXISTENCE OF THE SEPARATION AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT IN BOLIVIA?
Regarding factual fraud, the department of Santa Cruz’s Civic Committee, citizens, and social organizations have presented to electoral and judicial authorities’ ample proof, requests for review, lawsuits, and requests for constitutional redress, all have been denied. There is proof showing; the absence of electoral juries, duplication of cast ballots, unjustified increase of voters and population, ballots already cast and registered when the true voter was just arriving at the balloting location and was disqualified to vote “again”, 100% of cast votes in favor of the MAS political party at countless rural areas polling locations, defective computing, electoral databases in computer servers outside of Bolivia, alteration of voting certificates, automatic erasure of systems used to introduce polling minutes’ data in order to hide fraud, to once-again use the same company involved in the 2019 fraud, and more.
The result of this unfair, under a dictatorship and riddled with fraud, ambush they insist in calling “elections” is a Bolivia that is now divided, confronting Bolivians, void of democracy and hostage of a narco-state whose existence is now ensured with this situation.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.
Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators Association, ATA # 234680.