Bolivian Congress approves report recommending lawsuit against outgoing president

FILE PHOTO: Bolivia’s interim President Jeanine Anez speaks during a ceremony marking the 195th anniversary of the Bolivia foundation at the presidential palace, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in La Paz, Bolivia, August 6, 2020. REUTERS/David Mercado

LA PAZ (Reuters) – Bolivia’s Congress, controlled by the socialist party of the former indigenous President Evo Morales, approved on Thursday night a report that recommends a lawsuit against outgoing right-wing President Jeanine Anez for genocide and other alleged crimes.

The report, submitted by a parliamentary commission, alleges that Anez and some of her ministers are responsible for “resolutions contrary to the Constitution and the laws, breach of duties, genocide, murder, serious injuries, criminal association, deprivation of liberty and the forced disappearance of people.”

Bolivia spiraled into chaos after its October 2019 election was mired in controversy amid allegations it had been rigged; Morales then resigned under pressure from security forces and protesters.

After assuming power on Nov. 12 of last year, Anez’s government came under fire for a law giving the military broad discretion in the use of force. At least 30 people were killed in protests after she took office, most of whom were MAS supporters and civilians.

Morales’ MAS socialist party resumed control of the presidency when its candidate Luis Arce won elections this month. Arce will take office on Nov. 8.

The report recommending the suit will now be weighed by Bolivia’s parliament, where MAS represents a majority but falls short of the two-thirds needed to approve it.

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