Erika Segales / La Paz
After the resignation of Rosario Baptista as a member of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), the correlation of forces of the Plenary Chamber is in a tie between the “institutionalist” members and those who, due to their antecedents and actions, are identified as “related ”To MAS.
The members who for the moment remain in the institutionalist line are the president of the TSE, Óscar Hassenteufel, the vice president Nancy Gutiérrez and the member Angélica Ruiz. Although it is questioned that they did not pronounce on the attacks of the ruling party against the body.
On the other front, there are the so-called “related”, thus identified by their antecedents, which are Dina Chuquimia (appointed by President Luis Arce), Daniel Atahuachi, who worked with former Minister Juan Ramón Quintana, and Francisco Vargas, accused by We believe to agree on the 2020 election date with the MAS.
Página Siete looked for a counterpart of the members indicated as “related” to the MAS to have their version; Vargas denied having political affinity and pointed out that each member has the right to be a dissident on some issues. In the other two cases, the answer was not successful.
Chuquimia, the electoral member appointed by President Arce, returned to the Electoral Body almost six years after having resigned. The Plenary Chamber of the TSE of which he was a member was involved in at least five scandals and was observed for four decisions that favored the ruling party.
During the 2015 sub-national electoral process, Chuquimia was questioned for retweeting a message from the then MAS candidate for Mayor of La Paz, Guillermo Mendoza, on March 5. She was removed from her duties two days before the elections. This time he said that his account had been hacked.
A few days after being appointed by Arce, Chuquimia expressed that, in his opinion, there was no electoral fraud in 2019 and questioned the role of the OAS, a similar position held by the ruling party. “I tell those people who filed the complaints of fraud, they would also have the obligation to prove the fraud that occurred,” he said.
In the case of the members Atahuachi and Vargas, their actions were observed from the moment that together they sent a letter to the Legislative Assembly, suggesting that a law be drafted that indicates the date of the national elections for October 18, 2020.
His position was contrary to that expressed by the then president of the TSE, Salvador Romero, that setting the date for the elections did not require a rule and was the competence of the OEP, as a State Organ.
In June, the leader of the MAS, Evo Morales, revealed that in 2020 one of the members contacted him, through a “partner”, to evaluate the postponement of the 2020 elections. On Friday, the deputy of Creemos José Carlos Gutiérrez denounced the vocal Vargas for “very serious offenses” before the TSE and accused him of coordinating the electoral date with Evo.
On the other hand, Atahuachi and Vargas were dissidents in the decision to qualify Manfred Reyes Villa as a candidate for Mayor for Cochabamba.
This week, Atahuachi gave a press conference to refer to Baptista’s absence in the Plenary Hall, an explanation that the MAS was asking for to proceed to his dismissal due to abandonment of functions and not due to resignation. The member gave the press conference despite the fact that minutes before the president of the TSE, Óscar Hassenteufel, on behalf of the collegiate body, spoke about the Baptista case.
At first, in contact with the press, Atahuachi was accompanied by Vargas and then the president of the TSE joined.
“I believe that our full room is a plural full room, with a lot of technical capacity and political impartiality and I can affirm it categorically, there is nothing, at least to this member, that can link me to a political organization or to a certain purpose , each member has the right to disagree within the framework of their attributions ”, declared Vargas, according to an interview with Fides TV.
He added that most of the decisions of the Plenary Chamber of the TSE were taken by consensus and the technical deliberation was framed in the CPE, and that they are isolated cases in which there were dissidents.
I believe that our plenary hall is a plural plenary hall, with a lot of technical capacity and political impartiality
Francisco Vargas, vocal