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Bolivian workers union marches against election delay as tensions mount

EI Alto, Bolivia: A major Bolivian union led a protest march in the highland city of El Alto on Tuesday, July 28, opposing a delay to the country's presidential election as tensions mount over the vote that will decide the country's political future.

Thousands of people joined the march organised by the powerful Bolivian Workers' Centre (COB), an umbrella group representing various industries. They carried banners criticising the conservative interim government. The vote, a re-run of a fraught election last year that sparked violent protests leading to the downfall of long-term leftist leader Evo Morales, is a tussle between the country's socialist party and a fragmented conservative flank.

Morales, exerting his political influence from exile in Argentina, has called for the election to be held on Sept. 6 as previously planned. The electoral tribunal postponed the date because coronavirus infections are expected to peak in coming months.
The march ended in a council of workers declaring an indefinite general strike and mobilisations all around the country.
The COB said the interim government of led by presidential candidate Jeanine Anez had used the pandemic to extend power and persecute supporters of Morales' Movement for Socialism (MAS). Bolivia has recorded over 70,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with over 2,600 deaths.

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