BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, And Global Women's Issues, applauded this week’s Senate passage of their resolution, S.Res.447, expressing concern about widespread irregularities in Bolivia’s general elections and supporting the convening of new elections at the earliest possible date.
“I am pleased that the U.S. Senate came together in support of free and fair elections in Bolivia and against Evo Morales’ fraudulent attempts to remain in power in Bolivia,” said Risch. “I commend the interim authorities for moving swiftly to announce new elections in May, and I support our administration’s outreach demonstrating the United States’ goodwill and interest in establishing constructive bilateral relations as Bolivians chart toward a more democratic and hopeful future for their country.”
“With new elections set for May 3, this resolution is a strong bipartisan statement of support from the U.S. Senate for a democratic solution to the crisis in Bolivia,” said Menendez. “I urge Bolivia’s new electoral authorities to work closely with the Organization of American States and international observers to ensure the integrity of the upcoming elections. Bolivia’s citizens must be able to exercise their most fundamental democratic right in an inclusive, credible and transparent electoral process that is absent of the widespread fraud that the world witnessed in October.”
“The United States Senate is sending a clear message of support to Bolivia’s transitional government and the defense of the country’s rule of law and democratic future,” said Rubio. “At a time when the Western Hemisphere faces significant threats from undemocratic regimes who seek to undermine regional stability, I’m proud my colleagues have passed this bipartisan resolution condemning Evo Morales’ attempt to illegitimately maintain his grip on power in Bolivia.”
“The United States Senate stands with the people of Bolivia in their desire for free, fair, and transparent elections,” said Cardin. “In the wake of multiple irregularities discovered by the Organization of American States during Bolivia’s October presidential election, I commend the efforts to promptly hold new elections. This resolution makes clear that the United States Senate fully supports a stronger democracy in Bolivia that is more responsive and accountable to all its citizens.”
The resolution was introduced on Dec. 4 and passed out of committee with an amendment on Dec. 11. The full Senate passed the resolution on Jan. 8. Full text of the resolution can be found here.