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Bolivian MAS candidate warns coup regime is threatening military force to stop it winning

BOLIVIAN Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) presidential candidate Luis Arce has warned that the country’s coup regime is “now threatening the use of military force” to stop his party winning this month’s election.

He issued an appeal on Tuesday night for international observers to come and ensure that whatever happens “during the election campaign, on [election day] October 18 and the days after” takes place before the eyes of the world.

The MAS leads in all polls, but ministers in the army-installed regime that took office after the military overthrew elected president Evo Morales of the MAS last year said on Tuesday that the socialists plan to destabilise the country and that officials were preparing to stop them.

Interior Minister Arturo Murillo said he was establishing an “anti-terrorist” group to stop the MAS’s so-called destabilisation plans. He ordered the establishment of a group of that name, known by its acronym GAT, last December in the aftermath of the coup in order to root out “threats to our homeland.” Its persecution of indigenous Bolivians, who overwhelmingly support the MAS, has led to its description as “as an instrument of racist state terror ... an Indian-killing unit.”

“Recent statements by de-facto government authorities show that they won’t give up on their attempts to obstruct the electoral process, to generate fear,” Mr Arce said. “What other provocations are they willing to generate to derail the elections?” He pointed out that the regime says the polling booths will be guarded by the very army that overthrew the last elected government.

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