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Bolivian government official threatens election observers ahead of Sunday's election

BOLIVIAN immigration minister Marcel Rivas has been accused of inciting violence against journalists and international observers ahead of Sunday’s general election.

On Thursday evening Mr Rivas took to Twitter to accuse the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) of inviting “four well-known extreme-left agitators linked to the criminal Maduro regime,” a reference to the Venezualan President.

And he warned that election observers who violate the stated purpose of their visit to Bolivia would “suffer the consequences.”

Mr Rivas, part of the administration that came to power following last November’s Washington-backed coup against Evo Morales, has not explicitly named those he was referring to.

But they are widely believed to include Grayzone journalists Ben Norton, Max Blumenthal and Anya Parampil, who reported being “stalked” as they travelled to observe the elections. 

Photographs of them, later published on social media, were taken as they awaited a connecting flight in Chile.

Interior minister Arturo Murillo warned observers who seek to “create violence” that they would be put on a plane or behind bars.

MAS is predicted to win both the presidential and parliamentary elections in Sunday’s much-delayed polls.

Documents leaked to the Morning Star revealed plans by right-wing paramilitary forces to carry out bombings on hotels where international observers are staying and to implicate MAS in the attacks.

Allegations of a plot to discredit election results through the use of a mobile-phone app developed by Edgar Villegas, who was accused of manipulating data in the last election, have also been reported by the Morning Star.

Right-wing forces hope to cast doubt on the veracity of Sunday’s poll, triggering a series of events leading to the suspension of the Bolivian congress and the banning of MAS before the elections are re-run.


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