Bolivia’s interim president rejects senate attempt to grant Morales amnesty

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Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Anez on Saturday rejected an attempt by opposition senators to grant Evo Morales amnesty, a day after the country’s ex-leader was accused of sedition and terrorism.

“We have categorically affirmed that my government will not persecute any politician, union or civic leader,” Anez told reporters.

“But at the same time we are also clear that everyone who has committed crimes, has mocked the law, has committed abuses, will not have any amnesty.”

The proposal was introduced to the Senate by Morales’ Movement for Socialism party on Saturday seeking to prohibit “judicial processes” against the ex-president and others.

It comes on the same day Congress votes on a bill that could pave the way for new elections seen as crucial to ending weeks of unrest following the disputed October 20 ballot.

Interior Minister Arturo Murillo on Friday filed a criminal complaint accusing Morales of sedition and terrorism, after he allegedly called on supporters to maintain blockades in the crisis-hit country.

Murillo referred the case to federal prosecutors in La Paz, who have opened an investigation into the allegations.

The legal action comes after Murillo played a telephone recording to journalists on Wednesday, allegedly of Morales issuing instructions to a leader of the opposition movement in Bolivia.

“Don’t let food into the cities, we’re going to block, really encircle (the cities),” says the voice Murillo attributed to Morales.

If Morales -- who fled to Mexico after resigning on November 10 -- were charged and convicted, he would face a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail.

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