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Bolivian legislature set to close

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Bolivian legislature set to close

Bolivian legislature to close
Photo: Javier Mamani/ Getty

Bolivia’s current legislature is set to close today, with preparatory meetings for the new legislature scheduled to take place in the coming days.

Luis Arce, from ousted president Evo Morales’ Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party, won the presidency on 18 October with 55% of the vote in the first round. MAS maintained its legislative majorities in the elections, though it fell just short of capturing supermajorities in both chambers.

The new legislature will be tasked with addressing the effects of COVID-19 while also attempting to unite a fractured nation. This has become harder after a mixed commission from the outgoing legislature, charged with investigating potential crimes committed by the interim government after Morales resigned, recommended that interim president Jeanine Añez and members of her cabinet be held on trial for crimes including genocide and murder.

Such an investigation presents a problem for incoming-president Arce, as it could re-ignite the protests that led to the snap elections. Most likely, Arce will maintain his primary focus on dealing with the effects of COVID-19, with plans such as distributing emergency funds to all Bolivians, implementing a new wealth tax and beginning negotiations with international lenders to restructure Bolivia’s debt, just as Argentina and Ecuador have done.

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