La Paz (Agenzia Fides) - "But you, brothers, do not be remiss in doing good" (2 Thess 3:13). With this exhortation taken from the second letter of the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians, the Bishops' Conference of Bolivia addresses the Catholics of the country and all Bolivian citizens in view of the upcoming administrative, regional and local elections on Sunday, March 7th .
"It is our duty as citizens to vote, driven by the responsibility and awareness of building a more just and fraternal country for all", write the Bishops in the message sent to Fides, highlighting the need to familiarize themselves with the election programs of the various parties and referring to alliances to cast a vote "that really meets the needs of the departments, regions or municipalities". They also urge the election winners to keep their election promises. This is a "moral obligation" and the hopes aroused among the people should not be disappointed".
The bishops describe the participation in the election as an "expression of direct participation in political and democratic life", and a sign of the effort "to protect human and Christian values and principles".
Politics should "build Bolivia on solid democratic values", necessary "to overcome the loss of prestige in which it is through the active participation of all citizens in the election", but also by supervising, monitoring and discussing political decisions, especially those closer to the life of citizens, in the department, in the city or in the country, without forgetting national politics".
In the message, the Bishops' Conference recalls that the elections will take place in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the vaccination campaign has only just begun and it is difficult to predict how long it will last, the bishops urge citizens to act with extreme caution and to look after their own health and the lives of others. The electoral body and all government agencies involved in the electoral process are urged to refrain from efforts to protect all citizens so that they can exercise their rights and duties in complete safety.
"The importance of this moment - the Bishops conclude – urges us to raise our prayers to the God of life and peace, so that everyone, citizens and candidates, may contribute to the building of a more democratic and just Bolivia, an authentic common home for all". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 4/3/2021)