UN rights committee: Bolivia violated human rights by barring two mayoral candidates from elections

UN rights committee: Bolivia violated human rights by barring two mayoral candidates from elections

The UN Human Rights Committee [official website] issued two decisions [press release] Wednesday finding, in the cases of former MPs Rebeca Delgado Burgoa and Eduardo Maldonado Iporre [decisions, DOC, in Spanish], that Bolivia violated their human rights by denying access to mayoral elections.

The Delgado and Maldonado contended that Circular 71/2014, issued by the Supreme Electoral Court of Bolivia [official website, in Spanish], which barred officials elected to parliament for the 2010-2015 term, violated the Bolivian constitution by arbitrarily denying them political rights. They brought the claim before the UN committee under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 25 [treaty, text]. The covenant guarantees the right “[t]o vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections.” as well as “[t]o have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in his country.”

The UN Committee agreed with the complainants that 071/2014 arbitrarily violated their rights of due process, access the political system, and freedom from discrimination. It stated that Bolivia is obligated “to take appropriate steps to prevent similar violations in the future, including by ensuring that legal framework governing the election process and its implementation are consistent with article 25 of the Covenant.”

The Human Rights Committee is composed of 18 independent experts who are mandated to monitor the implementation of and compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.