LA PAZ, April 29 Leftist Bolivian President Evo
Morales will be allowed to seek re-election again next year,
according to a Constitutional Court ruling on Monday that
sparked opposition protests.
Morales was elected in late 2005 and re-elected in 2009
after leading a push for a new constitution that allows only one
re-election for a sitting president.
However in a ruling, the country's Constitutional Court said
the clock started ticking after the new constitution was signed
into law, meaning that next year's vote will be legally counted
as Morales' first re-election.
"The presidential term is computed from the time of the
adoption of the new constitution," Constitutional Court
president Ruddy Flores told reporters.
Opposition leaders disagreed with the decision.
"The constitution is very clear in that there can only be
one re-election. If Evo Morales wants a second re-election he
should have to change the constitution again," said Samuel Doria
Medina, leader of the center-right National Unity Party.
Morales has nationalized private companies as part of his
policy of increasing state control over the economy, which has
made him none to popular among many international investors.
But he has also won plaudits from Wall Street credit rating
agencies for sound fiscal management and for building up record
central bank reserves.