Coronavirus gives Bolivia’s ‘interim’ president chance to extend rule

Venezuelan migrants face tough choices as virus spreads
23 Apr 2020
US captive in Venezuela says plan was to extract Maduro
06 May 2020

Jeanine Añez settles in for long haul as pandemic adds to political uncertainty

Gideon Long in Bogotá

When Evo Morales quit the Bolivian presidency amid electoral fraud allegations and fled to Mexico last November after 14 years in power, it seemed that his replacement Jeanine Añez would be in the job for a matter of weeks — just long enough to organise fresh elections and oversee a transition.

But coronavirus and Ms Añez’s political ambitions have changed that. After repeatedly saying she had no intention of running for the presidency, she did a U-turn in January and threw her hat into the ring.

Then came the virus. The election, which had been scheduled for this weekend, was shelved. Ms Añez has free rein to rule until a new one can be organised. On Thursday parliament passed a law stating the election must be held by August 2, but Ms Añez rejected it, saying the election should be held “when the pandemic allows us to”. As Mr Morales noted ruefully in a news agency interview on April 20, the pandemic fit her plans “like a ring on a finger”.