Bolivia orders arrest of ex-president Morales

Bolivia orders arrest of ex-president Morales

Bolivia's attorney general on Wednesday ordered the arrest of exiled former President Evo Morales after the interim government accused him of sedition and terrorism

Bolivia's ex-President Morales during a press conference in Buenos Aires, on December 17, 2019.

Bolivia's attorney general on Wednesday 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 a warrant for police to detain the 60-year-old, who is in Argentina, and take him to the attorney general's office.

Morales fled Bolivia last month after civil unrest broke, following his re-election in the October 20 polls, which were widely dismissed as rigged.

The former trade union leader denounced the arrest order as "illegal, unfair and unconstitutional" on Twitter.

"I'm not worried. As long as I'm alive I'll continue with greater strength in the political and ideological struggle for a free and sovereign Bolivia," he said.

Morales ruled the South American country for almost 14 years before resigning last month and going into exile.

He initially landed at an asylum in Mexico and then went to Argentina last week.

The allegations against him stem from an audio recording released by Arturo Murillo- the interim government's interior minister. In the recording, Morales is allegedly heard telling one of his supporters to block trucks and interrupt the food supply to several cities.

Morales was in Mexico at the time, the complaint alleges.

Murillo began legal action against Morales in November, after weeks of roadblocks led to food and fuel shortages in the capital, followed by his resignation.

The ex-President countered the allegations by accusing the interim government of manufacturing fake audio to damage him politically.

The controversial October poll in which Morales was re-elected was annulled, following an Organization 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.

The interim government has barred Morales from standing in the ballot.

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- revoked controversy by authorizing him to run again.

His detractors accused him of corruption and authoritarianism.

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

"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 or a president, is to support the candidates so that they can win the elections," added Morales, who was Bolivia's first-ever indigenous president.

Previously he insisted he'd been the victim of a coup and has launched near-daily Twitter attacks against Anez and her allies.

Earlier on Wednesday, he claimed US President Trump- who hit out against Morales on Tuesday for provoking violence in Bolivia, was behind the "coup."

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