The Latest: UN sends envoy to help with Bolivia crisis
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — The Latest on Bolivia’s political confrontation (all times local):
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is sending a personal envoy to Bolivia to support efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Andean nation’s political crisis.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric says new envoy Jean Arnault is traveling to Bolivia on Thursday.
Arnault previously served as U.N. special representative in Colombia, Georgia, Afghanistan, Burundi and Guatemala.
Dujarric says the secretary-general “remains deeply concerned about developments in Bolivia” and “reiterates his appeal to all Bolivians to refrain from violence and exercise utmost restraint.”
He says Guterres wants to be involved “in preventive diplomacy — to be helpful” in any way the U.N. can.
Dujarric said consultations were held with various parties before the appointment and “it’s clear to us that this is something that would be a positive sign.”
Bolivia’s interim leader Jeanine Añez says that former President Morales’ political party can participate in a new presidential vote. But she says that Morales will not be allowed to do so.
It’s unclear whether Bolivian election officials would have to formally bar Morales from running in a new election.
Morales resigned at military prompting following massive nationwide protests over alleged fraud in an election last month in which he claimed to have won a fourth term in office. An Organization of American States audit of the vote found widespread irregularities.
Much of the opposition to Morales sprang from his refusal to accept a referendum that would have forbidden him from running for a new term.
Bolivia’s new interim government has begun winning some international recognition but faces challenges to its legitimacy at home, and it’s lashing out at former President Evo Morales.
Interim President Jeanine Añez is criticizing Mexico’s government for allowing Morales to rally support from his newly granted asylum in Mexico City. She says, “We have to let the Mexican government know that cannot be happening.”
Mexico welcomed Morales this week after he resigned following massive nationwide protests over alleged fraud in an election last month in which he claimed to have won a fourth term in office.
Mexico’s government has referred to the ouster as a coup d’etat, as have other left-leaning administrations in Latin America. But Añez has begun gaining recognition from more conservative governments, including Guatemala and Colombia, as well as the United States and United Kingdom.