Press release

Bolivians Reject Extending Presidential Term Limit

Fifty-five percent of Bolivians have voted against a constitutional amendment that would have allowed President Evo Morales to run for another term. 


In response to a substantial majority of Bolivians – 55 percent – voting against a constitutional amendment to allow President Evo Morales to run for an additional term, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Bolivians have spoken in favor of democracy and rule of law,” said Carlos Ponce, director of Latin America programs. “President Morales’ attempt to remain in office was clearly rejected, as 87 percent of the eligible voters went to the polls and decisively told him ‘no.’”

Bolivians voted February 21, 2016, on whether to amend Article 168 of the Constitution, to allow a President to govern for three consecutive terms. Morales has held office for 10 years; the ruling MAS party does not count his original term in office because of subsequent changes in the Constitution. Morales and MAS sought to amend the constitution to allow him to run for reelection in 2019 and remain in power until 2025. 

Morales’ popularity has declined in recent years due to accusations of corruption and growing opposition from some indigenous groups. 

Bolivia is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2016, and Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2015.