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Bolivia's electoral court allows Morales to run for fourth presidential term

BOLIVIA’S election authorities have ruled that President Evo Morales can seek re-election next year after he registered as the candidate of the Movement Towards Socialism party.

The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) made the decision at an emergency meeting on Tuesday, clearing the way for him to stand in next month’s primary elections.

Victory in the presidential election would mean a fourth term of office for Mr Morales, who became Bolivia’s first indigenous leader when he came to power in January 2006.

The TSE expressed preliminary reservations in 2016 after Mr Morales lost a referendum on his right to stand again.

However, court president Maria Eugenia Choque said Mr Morales is “fully qualified” for the position and cited “political rights.”

He will face a challenge from Left Revolutionary Front candidate Carlos Mesa, who served as president from October 2003 to June 2005 after taking over from Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, who had fled the country by helicopter to the United States.

Mr Mesa is deemed to be responsible for the so-called Black October massacre, in which state forces killed more than 60 people protesting against the privatisation of gas supplies and other public utilities.

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