BOLIVIA. La Paz. The current interim President of Bolivia, Jeanine Añez, confirmed the rumors that she has tested positive for COVID-19 today in a video released online. In addition to the president, three other ministers within the government have also tested positive for the virus. Añez plans to self isolate for the next 14 days, which is poised to further destabilize the already weakened temporary government.
A political powder keg? By law, a Bolivian president is not allowed to be out of the office for an extended period of time without surrendering power to the next representative in the chain of command. This law of succession, article 171 in the constitution, has already triggered a heated debate within the administration. This is because a member of the rival MAS (Movimiento al Socialismo) party is set to take the helm while Añez remains in quarantine for the next two weeks. The MAS party has been actively pressuring the current administration to set a new free election, which will take place on 6 Sept.
An administration in the crosshairs. The MAS party is also the political group under which the controversial and now deposed president, Evo Morales, remained in office for 14 years. Añez´s government came to power in the wake of the revolution sparked by the overturned presidential election results from last October.
Añez looked optimistic but tired in her transmission. However, she reassured the people that she was “feeling strong” in the video released earlier today, which can be viewed here.