Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said the international community must ensure that free and fair elections are held in Bolivia on Sunday amid growing fears that right-wing forces are intent on disrupting the democratic process.
Adding Sinn Féin’s name to an international solidarity statement, the South Down MP said:
“Last year in Bolivia the democratically elected President, Evo Morales, was removed in a military coup which foisted an unelected administration on the people of Bolivia.
“This deeply unpopular regime has governed outside the rule of law, launched an extreme neo-liberal assault on public services, and cynically rolled back protections for Bolivia’s indigenous population.
“This has resulted in trade unions, indigenous groups and many left-wing political activists facing widespread persecution, repression and violence.
“Against this backdrop of oppression the people of Bolivia have mobilised in their millions behind the ‘Movement Towards Socialism’ (MAS) in recent months.
“With all pre-election polls suggesting a win for MAS in Sunday’s Presidential Election, there are growing fears that anti-democratic forces will once again seek to deny Bolivians their wish to build a democratic and progressive society.
“The international community must not allow this to happen. Sinn Féin will always stand in solidarity with those struggling for democracy, human rights, equality, and social progress in Bolivia.”