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Iran Press TV

Bolivia MPs approve referendum for potential 4th term by Morales

Iran Press TV

Fri Nov 6, 2015 6:47AM

Bolivian lawmakers approve holding a referendum in February on a piece of constitutional reform that would allow President Evo Morales to run for another term.

If Bolivians vote in favor of the constitutional reform, Morales will be able to stand for the fourth consecutive term to take his presidency to 2025.

Morales, who first became president in 2006, was re-elected to a third term last October following another constitutional amendment that allowed him to seek office again.

On Thursday, two thirds of the lawmakers in the Bolivian congress voted to hold the referendum on February 21 and – the government later signed the measure into force – for a fourth run by Morales.

The current constitution, adopted in 2009, restricts presidents to two consecutive terms. However, the 56-year-old president's first two four-year terms are not counted because he won those elections under previous laws.

Morales is Bolivia's first indigenous president and has won all of his presidential races with between 54 and 64 percent of the vote.

According to polls, his approval rating currently stands at above 60 percent, which would be strong enough to secure another re-election.

He has risen to enormous popularity on the back of policies that have more than tripled the country's GDP and led to substantial reductions in the poverty rate. His development blueprint, the 2025 Patriotic Agenda, includes the eradication of extreme poverty, an independent financial system, better health and education for all citizens and national control over food production and national resources.

Morales' opponents, however, have criticized the potential constitutional reform, calling it illegal.

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