Resolution on the situation in Bolivia  
2019/2896(RSP) - 28/11/2019  

The European Parliament adopted by 425 votes to 132, with 109 abstentions, a resolution on the situation in Bolivia.

The text adopted in plenary had been tabled as a joint resolution by the EPP, S&D, Renew and ECR groups.

The resolution recalled that on 20 October 2019, presidential and legislative elections took place in Bolivia in a highly polarised environment, given that President Evo Morales is a controversial figure and that controversy surrounded the acceptance of his candidacy. The unexpected interruption of vote counting and the proclamation of victory by President Morales resulted in massive protests and mobilisation by opposition supporters, as well as by supporters of President Morales himself. These demonstrations have been a cause of great concern to the whole international community and have so far resulted in at least 32 people being killed, with hundreds more injured and over 600 arrested.

Suspicions of electoral fraud

The actions of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal sparked disagreement and suspicion of fraud not only among supporters of the opposition candidates, but also from national and international observers and the majority of the international community. After the presentation of the Observation Mission of the Organisation of American States (OAS) audit report on 10 November 2019 calling for the electoral process to be annulled and re-run, many high-ranked state officials resigned, including the president, the vice-president, the Senate president and electoral body representatives.

New presidential election

Parliament denounced the lack of transparency and credibility of the Bolivian authorities and their attempt to commit electoral fraud, a serious offence that should lead, under Bolivian law, to the declaration of the election as null and void.

While supporting the objective of appointing a new independent Electoral Court to ensure transparent elections, Parliament stated that a return to stability in Bolivia requires a new election as soon as possible. It called on the interim authorities to take responsibility for the credibility of the procedure by organising properly conducted and inclusive elections where all political actors have the opportunity to compete in accordance with Bolivian law and the constitutional order.

Parliament called on the new interim authorities to take the necessary steps to change the situation, restore trust and confidence. It called for a dialogue to be established with the aim of immediately organising a new democratic, inclusive, transparent and fair election, with a newly composed electoral body, as a way out of the current crisis, while avoiding political retaliation.

Parliament expressed its readiness to assist such an electoral process and invited the VP/HR to deploy a fully-fledged EU Election Observation Mission.

Avoid violence and bring those responsible to justice

Parliament welcomed the decision to withdraw the military from protest areas and repeal a law giving them broad discretion in the use of force. It called on the security forces to exercise proportionality and restraint in maintaining security and public order and to promptly open thorough, transparent and impartial investigations into the violence, and to bring those responsible to justice.

Members also reaffirmed that respect for the independence of the judiciary, political pluralism and freedom of association and expression for all Bolivians, including peasant indigenous nations and people, are essential pillars of democracy and the rule of law.