Bolivia to consult UN refugee agency over Morales political activity

La Paz (AFP) –


Bolivia's interim government decided on Thursday to appeal to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in an attempt to stop former president Evo Morales from influencing next year's general election.

Morales has remained heavily involved in politics and has been particularly vocal on social media since fleeing to Mexico last month following his resignation.

Bolivia initially petitioned Mexico to prevent Morales from making political statements, but to no avail.

Now that he's closer to home in neighboring Argentina, Bolivia has decided to act.

"We're going to ask whether it's allowed for refugees to broadcast political opinions or take part in political events that threaten the stability of the country that is pursuing them," said Foreign Minister Karen Longaric.

Bolivia issued an arrest warrant for Morales on Wednesday after the interim government accused him of terrorism and sedition.

They accuse the iconic leftist indigenous leader of fomenting unrest and released an audio recording in which he allegedly tells one of his supporters to block trucks and interrupt the food supply to several cities.

Morales, 60, claims the audio recording is a fake.

He resigned and fled Bolivia last month after civil unrest broke out following his re-election in an October 20 poll widely dismissed as rigged.

The result was annulled following an Organization of American States audit that found clear evidence of vote rigging.

Former union leader Morales claims he was the victim of a coup d'etat and denounced the arrest order as "illegal, unfair and unconstitutional."

The government of right-wing interim President Jeanine Anez has repeatedly said it will hold new elections, but no date has yet been set.

Morales is barred from running in the next elections, but while speaking on Tuesday in Buenos Aires, he vowed to back whoever stands for his Movement for Socialism party.