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Bolivia – helping the country regain political stability

Foreign Minister Maas meets with Longaric Rodríguez, interim Foreign Minister of Bolivia

Foreign Minister Maas meets with Longaric Rodríguez, interim Foreign Minister of Bolivia, © Felix Zahn/photothek.net

12.03.2020 - Article

Ever since last year’s protests, the interim Government of Bolivia has been working to re-establish stability. Germany stands ready to support the transition process, Foreign Minister Maas stressed during his meeting in Berlin with Bolivia’s interim Foreign Minister Longaric Rodríguez.

Mass protests against irregularities during the last presidential elections led to the resignation of Bolivian President Evo Morales in November 2019. Since then, the country has had a transitional Government. Its primary task is to organise the return to political stability and to address last year’s events. The protests, which lasted several weeks, led to the death of at least 35 people and more than 800 being injured.

Conducting orderly and transparent elections is key

The holding of free and fair elections on 3 May 2020 will be crucial for a return to normal political life; general elections for a new President and both chambers of the Bolivian Parliament are planned for that day. The date was set by the recently reconstituted Supreme Electoral Tribunal after an agreement was reached by the various political parties. The talks were facilitated by the Bolivian Bishops’ Conference, with support from the European Union and the United Nations. Regarding the elections, Foreign Minister Maas stated that

We shall support the international organisations when it comes to sending election observers. Also, the Federal Foreign Office will promote democracy-related projects in connection with the elections, and we will do our part to ensure that the elections are democratic and fair.

Germany is prepared to fund projects that promote democracy

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and interim Foreign Minister of Bolivia Karen Longaric Rodríguez are meeting in Berlin today to discuss how Germany can support the transition process and help strengthen democratic structures in Bolivia. In the run-up to the elections, Germany is prepared to fund projects that promote democracy. The intention is to motivate young voters in particular to become part of the national effort. Moreover, Germany stands ready to support election monitoring on the ground.

On the agenda: strengthening multilateralism, trade relations and regional stability

The meeting will also focus on other regional and international topics, such as the situation in Venezuela and the future of trade relations between Bolivia and the EU. Moreover, Bolivia is a supporter of Foreign Minister Maas’ new Latin America and Caribbean Initiative, through which Germany and countries in the region want to cooperate more closely on strengthening multilateral institutions and jointly addressing challenges such as climate change and the digital transformation.

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