The Bolivian opposition proposes constitutional reform to improve Justice

The main opposition party in the Bolivian Parliament, Comunidad Ciudadana (CC), of former President Carlos Mesa.  EFE / Stringer / File The main opposition party in the Bolivian Parliament, Comunidad Ciudadana (CC), of former President Carlos Mesa. . / Stringer / File

La Paz, Nov 16 . .- The main opposition party in the Bolivian Parliament, the Citizen Community (CC), of former President Carlos Mesa, proposed on Monday a partial reform of the Constitution to lead to a change in the administration of Justice through the appointment of new authorities in that body.
The proposal was presented to the media by CC deputy Carlos Alarcón, who criticized that the Justice and the Prosecutor’s Office are acting “selectively” and with “supersonic speed” to favor ex-authorities of the previous Government of Evo Morales and prosecute the detractors of the ex-president.
“The best way to pacify and reconcile Bolivians is a total change in the justice system that must necessarily go through an immediate partial reform of the Constitution in the mechanism and the form of appointment to the high judicial and fiscal authorities of the country” said Alarcón.
The Bolivian Constitution in force since 2009 establishes the election of high positions in the Judicial Branch by popular vote, although the applicants are pre-selected in the Legislative.
The management of the elected authorities in these elections is for six years, according to the Magna Carta.
The last judicial elections in Bolivia were on December 3, 2017, so the management of the current magistrates ends in 2023.
The opponents of the then government of Evo Morales promoted the white or null vote in those elections, considering that the elected judges would not be impartial because the candidates were pre-selected by a Parliament controlled by the ruling Movement for Socialism (MAS).
Alarcón recalled that in those elections 60 percent of the votes were null or blank, so he considered it necessary that there be political will to carry out the proposed reform and change as soon as possible the current “operators of the high judicial spheres.”
With a “partial” and “specific” constitutional reform, there would be new operators “who respond to a true sense of independence, high quality and professional capacity, with an impeccable and impeccable trajectory, both in life and in professional practice,” he said.
To achieve this, a consensus will be important between the MAS, CC and Creemos, the other political force with parliamentary representation, but also a “strategic alliance” with the Government and organized civil society so that “Bolivianity as a whole” can elect the best judges, Alarcón indicated.
On Sunday the Minister of Justice, Iván Lima, said that judicial independence “is guaranteed” and that the Executive gives “full guarantees” to the administrators of justice to carry out their work.
Judicial independence has been one of the aspects that has been questioned in the management of Evo Morales and that has also been criticized against the transition period of former interim president Jeanine Áñez.