The Left group in the European Parliament congratulates Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca, as well as the Bolivian people, for the overwhelming victory of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS-IPSP) on October 18. This victory took place despite the attempts of the right and the far-right to disqualify the left’s candidacy through lawfare, leading to several judicial processes in recent months targeting, in particular, MAS and its candidates.

According to preliminary results, Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca won with 52.4 per cent of the vote. This is proof that the results of last year’s elections, which ended in a coup d’état, were not a fraud but the subject of unfounded accusations by the Organization of American States. Yesterday’s results are expected to give MAS a majority in both chambers, making unnecessary a second round as the 50 per cent barrier has been crossed, according to Bolivian electoral law.

The elections had a high turnout as a response of the people of Bolivia to the military coup. Despite the deployment of the Armed Forces in the streets and polling stations all over the country in preceding days and on election day itself, the intimidation has not been successful. The authorities had carried a political persecution against leaders of social movements and of the left, arrested community leaders as in the city of El Alto, and threatened accredited international observers. The last year in Bolivia has been marked by violence and repression. The UN Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights acknowledged in a report the torture, arbitrary arrests and murders that took place, especially during the first weeks of Jeanine Áñez’s rule. The massacres at Senkata and Sacaba were two of the bloodiest moments in the Bolivian people’s history and were a clear attempt to silence social protests with military intervention.

Finally, GUE/NGL sends warm greetings to our comrade former President Evo Morales, who is in exile in Argentina. We hope that he will soon be able to return to his country.

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