Bolivia's MAS party picks ex-economy minister as presidential candidate

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-20 10:29:35|Editor: xuxin
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BUENOS AIRES, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Bolivia's leftist Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party said Sunday it has picked former economy minister Luis Arce to be its presidential candidate in the general elections to be held in May.

Evo Morales, Bolivia's former president and the party's founder, made the announcement in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires, where he was granted political asylum after being forced out of office in November.

Arce's running mate will be former Foreign Affairs Minister David Choquehuanca, who, like Morales, is a member of Bolivia's majority indigenous population.

"We opted for Luis Arce because the economy will be a fundamental topic in MAS' proposal for Bolivia's future government," Morales told reporters at a press conference.

Arce was minister of economy and public finance between 2006 and 2017, and again from January to November in 2019.

Bolivians will choose a new president on May 3 for the second time in eight months, after hard-right factions rejected Morales' reelection to a fourth term in October, citing electoral fraud.

Morales resigned and fled to Mexico after Bolivia's military and police forces sided with the conservative opposition and withdrew their support for his leadership.

He later relocated to Argentina to take a more active role in the elections being organized by the opposition-backed interim government that took over.