Resolution on the "Situation in Bolivia" approved by the OAS Permanent Council
(Adopted by the Permanent Council at its regular meeting of November 20, 2019)
THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES,
RECALLING that Article 1 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter affirms that “[t]he peoples of the Americas have a right to democracy and their governments have an obligation to promote and defend it”;
RECOGNIZING the need to hold elections as soon as possible, in accordance with the Constitution of Bolivia;
UNDERSCORING the urgent need for all political, social, and institutional actors to act within a framework of respect for the rule of law and as stipulated by the Bolivian Constitution and law;
BEARING IN MIND that it must be guaranteed that the electoral process will be carried out with justice, freedom, transparency, and respect for the sovereign will of the Bolivian people; and
TAKING NOTE of the concerns expressed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on November 12 and 16, 2019, in relation to the acts of violence in Bolivia and to the publication of Supreme Decree No. 4078 of November 15, 2019,
To call upon the Bolivian authorities urgently to call elections, as mandated by the Constitution and law of Bolivia, and to promptly adopt an electoral schedule that gives certainty to the Bolivian people about an electoral process with full democratic guarantees.
To urge all political and civil actors in Bolivia, including all authorities, civil society, the military and security forces, and the general public, immediately to cease from violence, preserve peace, and seek a frank dialogue to promote national democratic reconciliation.
To call on all Bolivian authorities to ensure full and unrestricted observance and protection of human rights and to ensure that any violation thereof is held to account, in accordance with international human rights law.
To support the initiative of the Secretary General of the OAS to deploy, at the invitation of Bolivia, a delegation to hold preliminary high-level meetings in a bid to ensure the holding of free, fair, and transparent elections with effective guarantees within a short time.
To instruct the General Secretariat of the OAS, through the Secretariat for Strengthening Democracy, to grant all the requested technical support necessary for the electoral process to begin immediately, in accordance with the principles of transparency, independence, credibility, and trust consistent with international electoral standards.
Position of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay: In Bolivia there was an interruption of the institutional order, given that the constitutional procedures for accepting the resignation of President Evo Morales were not followed, inasmuch as the Legislative Assembly had not convened, as established in Article 170 of the Bolivian Constitution cited in the draft resolution.
To disregard that fact is extremely serious and cannot be ignored. The Secretary General of the OAS has again overstepped his functions by recognizing Ms. Jeanine Añez as Interim President, when, in reality, she is a de facto authority.
Uruguay reiterates that the OAS has no legitimacy to recognize governments and demands that the Secretary General conduct himself with the wisdom and restraint that his office requires. Uruguay also reiterates its rejection of the way in which this resolution was negotiated; that is, outside the Permanent Council, in a closed group in which my country was not invited to participate. This regrettable attitude, which seems to have become a custom, continues to undermine the functioning of the Permanent Council and further wrests credibility from the already diminished image of the Organization.
Uruguay calls on the de facto Bolivian authorities at once to cease the indiscriminate repression of civilians and immediately to call free, transparent, and credible elections observed by reliable organizations and institutions, such as the United Nations or the European Union.
The delegations of Antigua and Barbuda, Mexico, Nicaragua and St. Vincent and the Grenadines announced that they would submit footnotes.