New York

14 August 2020

Statement of the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Bolivia

In relation to the unanimous approval yesterday, 13 August 2020, by the Bolivian legislature of  a new electoral  law to set the date of the 2020 general elections, its immediate promulgation by the Executive and the announcement of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal that elections will be held on 18 October 2020, the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Bolivia, Jean Arnault, issued the following statement today:

The Secretary General’s Personal Envoy welcomes the agreement reached yesterday among the Executive Branch, the Plurinational Legislative Assembly and the Plurinational Electoral Organ regarding the 2020 general elections.  He also welcomes the unanimity achieved by the political parties in the Plurinational Legislative Assembly and the members of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

 This consensus is a fundamental achievement that provides guarantees regarding the date of the elections. It helps to overcome political divisions and the uncertainty that worried many sectors of Bolivian society, mobilized or not, as well as the international community itself. With this consensus, the path towards a reliable electoral process whose results are respected by all actors is effectively consolidated.

 The United Nations is determined to contribute to the holding of the elections. To this end, we are committed to the following efforts:

- Support the Plurinational Electoral Organ with a team of international and national experts who provide all the assistance required, through the United Nations Development Programme and with the full support of the European Union and its member States, Sweden, Canada and the United Kingdom;

- Support the electoral process with biosafety standards and measures through the Pan-American Health Organization;

- Ensure respect for the civil and political rights of people during the electoral process through the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ mission in Bolivia and UN Women;

- Support initiatives to promote citizen participation in the electoral process and national electoral observation; 

- Be actively involved in all dialogue efforts to overcome the obstacles that may arise on the way to the elections on October 18 and afterwards;

- Promote international political, diplomatic, financial and technical support for the electoral process and the consolidation of peace in the country through the UN Secretary-General.

At the same time, the UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes of the UN Country Team remain fully involved in supporting national and sub-national institutions in the struggle to contain and overcome the COVID19 pandemic hitting the country.

Following yesterday’s significant step forward, the goal now is to maintain and expand the national agreement. We join the call of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal for the organs of the State, institutions, the media, political actors, social forces, regional governments and citizens to actively support the national effort to carry out credible, peaceful and inclusive elections on the final date set.