Bolivian judge scraps arrest warrant against former leader Morales

By Daniel Ramos

LA PAZ (Reuters) – A Bolivian judge annulled on Monday an arrest warrant for exiled former president Evo Morales, clearing the way for him to return to his home country without facing the risk of detention.

Bolivian prosecutors in December of last year issued the warrant on allegations of sedition and terrorism related to accusations from the interim government that Morales had stirred unrest since resigning.

The investigation into the complaint that led to the warrant is still underway, judicial officials said. Prosecutors plan to issue a summons to Morales so that the former leader can mount his defense before Bolivian courts.

The annulment of the warrant opens a window for Morales to re-enter Bolivia after more than a year spent living in exile while the country was manned by a conservative caretaker administration. Morales’ socialist party swept back into power earlier this month when Bolivians elected Luis Arce as president, a close ally of the former leader.

Morales, who stepped down last year following a disputed election, flew to Venezuela on Friday after spending months in Argentina, according to Argentine state news agency Telam. He has not confirmed whether he will travel to Bolivia or a date for his return.

Morales remains the president of Arce’s party, the Movement Toward Socialism, or MAS, but Arce has said any influence the former president has will be limited to that position.

(Reporting by Daniel Ramos; writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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