The great challenge of the transition to democracy in Bolivia lies in the fact that an interim Executive Power with great legitimacy has the mandate to hold free and fair elections but within the framework of the dictatorial system that has not changed, that is, with the constitution of the regime. , without the rule of law, with all the other powers of the State controlled by the dictatorship, with the same functional opposition acting and under attack by terrorism and conspiracy directed from Mexico by the fugitive dictator. After almost 14 years of holding power in Bolivia, the Castro-Chavista system is intact because the dictator fell but not the dictatorship.
The triumph of the peaceful civil resistance that led to the resignation of Evo Morales and ended his government, has not ended the dictatorial system that began by expanding illegal coca cultivation to install a narco-state in Bolivia, it has not touched the legal structure that by supplanting the Political Constitution, it liquidated the Republic of Bolivia, modifying the Legislative and Judicial powers and creating the Electoral to end the rule of law, has not removed from power the officials who made the division and independence of the public powers disappear and has released all political prisoners or allowed the return of exiles.
The Evo Morales regime is a dictatorship that, applying the model entered from Cuba and Venezuela, made all essential elements of democracy disappear to remain in power:
1.- The violation of “human rights and fundamental freedoms” was institutionalized with “infamous laws” and with the use of justice for political persecution, the concealment of corruption and the guarantee of impunity.
2.- The “rule of law” was liquidated to impose and pseudo legalize the will of the dictator.
3.- The “division and independence of the public powers” ended with the appointment of prevaricating and abject officials in total service to the dictator.
4.- The “free and fair elections” were supplanted by the “electoralist dictatorship” in which “you vote but you don’t choose.”
5 .- The “free social and political organization ended up establishing in its place the” functional opposition.
The resignation and fall of Evo Morales marked the beginning of the process of transition to democracy that has a first stage under the direction of Interim Constitutional President Janine Añez and her government, with the task of holding free and fair elections as soon as possible and take urgent measures to maintain security. It is not a government of ordinary management, it has a specific mandate: free and fair elections, to which was added attention to the urgent, the essential, the internal order against the attack of terrorism and drug trafficking led by the fugitive dictator and the system of transnational organized crime that manipulates it.
The The second stage of the transition to democracy will be in charge of the authorities that are elected in that election, the date of which has not yet been determined and which is expected to take place around April 2020.. A new Constitutional President with a new Legislative Power must begin to dismantle the dictatorial apparatus to restore the Republic. Make the economic reality of the country transparent, restore an independent Judicial Power, institutionalize authorities of the Central Bank, the Comptroller General, control and regulation entities. The government of Bolivia from 2020 to 2025 is that of the substantive transition. His government plan is fixed by history and is none other than putting into effect the essential elements of democracy while avoiding impunity.
The threat against the real and effective return to democracy in Bolivia is that in the first stage of the transition -which includes from the departure of the dictator to the election of a new President, senators and deputies- there is only a make-up so that they Power holders and functional opponents of the last 14 years, be recycled. The delay in activating this emergency electoral process, also placed in the hands of the legislative majority of the fugitive dictator, threatens to produce something like the transition from the Trujillo to Balaguer dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, to change everything so that nothing changes.
The objective of the transition from dictatorship to democracy in Bolivia is the restoration of the Republic and all essential elements of democracy, including the renewal of leaderships and candidates that make up the dictatorship by direct participation or as functional opponents. Until then, the dictatorship will not be over.
* Lawyer and Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy