AMERICA/BOLIVIA - Caritas and student pastoral care: "Free elections under the sign of peace and democracy"

Thursday, 8 October 2020 elections   episcopal conferences   democracy   caritas  

La Paz (Agenzia Fides) - A few days before the presidential elections in Bolivia, which will be held on Sunday, October 18, the Social Pastoral/Caritas (Pasoc), in cooperation with the student Pastoral office, are appealing to the citizens of the country's Catholic communities to base voting on the principles of the social teaching of the Catholic Church. In their appeal with the title "Free elections, in peace and in democracy" they support the appeal of the Bolivian Bishops' Conference, which is inspired by the words of St. Paul: "Do everything possible to live in peace with all" (Rom 12:18).
They therefore re-launch some requests: the election campaigns should take place in a peaceful and transparent manner; ideas should be exchanged in the context of debates and not disqualify people; promote processes of change and not just the change of rulers; tolerance and peaceful acceptance of those who think differently must be cultivated as an indispensable prerequisite for any mature democracy. The elections have to be transparent, credible and independent and the results have to be accepted under the sign of a common future perspective.
Finally, they recall the words of Archbishop of Santa Cruz, Mgr. Sergio Gualberti, who wants "free, secret, conscious and responsible voting", "which has the common good in mind, safeguards democracy, a free justice and the fight against drug trafficking and to guarantee access to basic health, education, housing and stable employment for all".
After the withdrawal from the electoral campaign of the interim president of Bolivia, polls published by local media claim that Luis Arce, candidate of the Movement for Socialism (MAS), the party of former president Evo Morales, has the necessary votes to win the first round (see Fides 12,14,22/9/2020). (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 8/10/2020)