UN chief hails ‘positive developments’ towards ending political crisis in Bolivia

UN Bolivia/Patricia Cusicanqui Demonstrators protest on the streets of La Paz, Bolivia.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed recent steps towards a peaceful resolution to the political turmoil in Bolivia.

The South American country has been in crisis since October, when President Evo Morales declared victory in an election that would have given him a controversial fourth consecutive term in office, prompting weeks of mass protests.

After the military and security forces withdrew their support, Mr. Morales later resigned and left the country. Since then, more than 30 people have been killed in demonstrations, according to media reports.

Bolivian lawmakers on Saturday unanimously adopted legislation to establish a new Supreme Electoral Tribunal, leading to presidential elections to be held next year.

Mr. Guterres has welcomed these “positive developments” and underlined the UN’s readiness to provide support as appropriate, according to a statement from his Spokesperson, issued on Monday night in New York.

“This latest development demonstrates the political will to end the crisis,” it said.

“To consolidate these gains and prevent further violence, more steps are, however, needed, such as curbing the rhetoric of intolerance, increasing cooperation among all political forces, and restoring trust and confidence amongst all those affected by the violent events of the past month.”

The Secretary-General encouraged all sides to pursue “peaceful and constructive dialogue” while his Personal Envoy, Jean Arnault, will continue to support these efforts.

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