Morales Declares 2014 Re-Election Bid Despite Constitutional Concerns

Bolivian President Evo Morales' Movement towards Socialism (MAS) party formally nominated the president as its candidate for the 2014 presidential elections in a controversial move yesterday, despite disagreement over the legality of his candidacy.

La Razon reports that the president accepted his party's nomination at a MAS convention in Cochabamba yesterday. He also voiced optimism at the party's prospects of strengthening its majority in both houses of the Legislative Assembly next year, setting a goal of a 74 percent victory for MAS candidates.

Despite the nomination, the legality of Morales' run is unclear. The Bolivian opposition contends that a victory in 2014 would give the president a third term in office, which is illegal under the Bolivian constitution. But Morales and his party dispute this, claiming that because the constitution was changed by a national referendum before he was re-elected in 2009, another five year term in office would technically be his second under the new constitution.

According to Telesur, the Bolivian Senate asked the country's Constitutional Court to study the legality of Morales' re-election, and the court has ten days to issue a ruling on the matter.

Meanwhile, an Ipsos poll published last week suggests that 54 percent of the Bolivian public supports Morales' re-election, meaning that if the MAS' nomination is allowed the country would likely see Morales in office until 2020.