Movement for Socialism opts for young candidates, with congress to debate annulling 20 elections before new vote

Neither Evo Morales nor his former vice-president lvaro Garca Linera who both resigned under pressure this month will be candidates for their Movement for Socialism (Mas) party in Bolivias next elections, a prominent party official has said.

We are going to participate in the elections and we are going to do it with young candidates, especially for president and vice-president, Henry Cabrera, senior Mas member and vice-president of the house of deputies, told Reuters.

We are not going to recycle candidates.

Bolivias interim government presented a bill on Wednesday that would annul the disputed 20 October vote, appoint a new electoral board and forge a path to new elections. Cabrera said Mas would not propose members for the new electoral board.

The South American countrys two chambers of congress are expected to debate the bill beginning on Thursday and possibly extending into Friday. There is no date set for new elections.

Morales, Garca Linera and several other top Mas officials stepped down on 10 November under pressure from protesters, civil groups, security forces and allies, as well as an international audit that found serious irregularities in the election count.

The interim government of the conservative former senator Jeanine ez is confronting stark divisions between Moraless supporters and opponents seeking to move beyond his nearly 14-year rule.

Demonstrators calling for the resignation of ez were marching from the high-altitude city of El Alto to the adjoining capital, La Paz.

Led by a protester on a motor scooter carrying a multi-colored flag representing indigenous tribes of the Andean region, the march featured people dressed in working-class western garb with baseball hats and women in native dress.

Street violence has shaken the country and killed 32 people since the disputed election.

Human Rights Watch called on Bolivia to repeal a decree it said was passed on 15 November that granted the military broad discretion in the use of force.

Bolivian authorities should stop harassing journalists and government opponents and ensure that judicial authorities conduct independent, impartial, and prompt investigations into deaths during clashes between security forces and protesters, the organization said in a statement.



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