LA PAZ – Bolivia’s President Evo Morales thanked people late Wednesday in a tweet for their support for democratic and cultural revolution, following large protests during the day against his efforts to continue in office.
Thousands of protesters held a massive demonstration and urged Morales to abide by the rules of democracy, and said they would not stop the protest until the president respects the referendum that rejected the president’s bid for re-election.
The marches and rallies, called by civil organizations throughout the country, urged Morales to comply with the 2016 referendum that banned the Bolivian president from running for a fourth term in office.
“Bolivia said no,” proclaimed the protestors in La Paz among a sea of Bolivian flags.
In response to the president’s “obsessive attempt to perpetuate himself in power,” the demonstrators demanded that Morales respect the constitution, which limits him to only two consecutive terms in office, former president Waldo Albarracin said.
Albarracin stressed that the protesters throughout the country did not come to represent a political party, but only to follow “the genuine voice of the Bolivian people.”
Although there were some opposition politicians among the demonstrators, such as La Paz Mayor Luis Revilla, they were brought to the event by independent civil organizations.
The demonstrators also warned that they would remain united until they reached their goal, so that Morales and the pro-government Movement for Socialism (MAS) respect the referendum celebrated on Feb. 21, 2016, in which 51.3 percent of the voters decided against his attempt to seek a fourth term in office.
The anti-Morales protests were met with counter-protests on the same day, called by groups affiliated with the so-called Process of Change, which brought Morales to power in 2006.
Morales described this day of demonstration as the “Day of the Lie,” as he claimed that the 2016 poll followed an opposition campaign that publicized controversial details of his private life.
Following the referendum, the ruling party appealed to the Constitutional Court of Bolivia, which in November 2017, recognized the right to be elected, bestowed upon citizens of the countries that signed the American Convention on Human Rights, including Bolivia.
With this ruling based on the right of a governor to be elected and the people to elect him, Morales was allowed to run for indefinite re-elections in Bolivia.
He was also made the candidate of MAS for the 2019 presidential elections last December.
The Constitutional Court once allowed Morales to run for his third term in 2014, explaining that his 2006-2009 term does not count as his first term in office because the country was fully consolidated by the 2009 Constitution.