Bolivia orders arrest of ex-president Evo Morales

Morales gestures as he delivers a speech in Mexico City, on Nov 27, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

LA PAZ (AFP) - Bolivia's attorney-general on Wednesday (Dec 18) ordered the arrest of exiled former president Evo Morales after the interim government accused him of sedition and terrorism.

Public prosecutors in La Paz signed an order for police to detain the 60-year-old and take him to the attorney-general's office.

Morales fled Bolivia for Argentina last month after civil unrest broke out following his controversial re-election in an Oct 20 poll widely denounced as rigged.

Morales ruled the South American country for almost 14 years before resigning last month and leaving Bolivia to accept asylum first in Mexico and then Argentina, where he arrived last week.

October's poll was annulled following an Organisation of American States (OAS) audit that found clear evidence of vote-rigging.

Right-wing deputy senate leader Jeanine Anez took over as interim president and has vowed to call new elections early next year, although no date has been set yet.

The interim government has barred Morales from standing in those elections.

Bolivia's constitution limits a president to two consecutive terms but Morales stood for a potential fourth term in October.

Ahead of the last two elections, the constitutional court - filled with Morales loyalists - made controversial decisions authorising him to run again.

Speaking from Buenos Aires on Tuesday, Morales pledged to back another candidate from his Movement for Socialism party this time around.

"I'm convinced that we'll win the next elections. I won't be a candidate but I have a right to be in politics," Morales told reporters.

"My obligation now that I'm not a candidate, now that I'm not president, is to accompany candidates so that they can win the elections," added Morales, who was his country's first ever indigenous president.

Previously he insisted he'd been the victim of a coup d'etat and has from his Twitter account launched attacks against Anez and her allies on a near daily basis.

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