The Bolivian parliament on Thursday called for a referendum to decide whether President Evo Morales can run for a fourth term in the South American country.
The plebiscite is set for February 21, 2016. The Socialist Morales was first elected in 2005, and following constitutional reforms, was re-elected in 2009 and 2014. The next presidential election is set for the end of 2019, and the term would run from 2020 through 2025.
Morales, 56, currently on an official trip to Europe, defended the proposed constitutional change. He said a change in government could endanger a number of initiatives, especially in the economic realm.
“With a change everything would come to halt and be disrupted, that is well known,” Morales told dpa during his visit to Hamburg.
While in Hamburg, Morales visited the port and met with business representatives who are active in Latin America.
On Wednesday the Bolivian president met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Comparing his possible re-election to Merkel’s time in office, Morales also suggested that continuity in government helped facilitate the rebuilding of post-war Germany.
Morales is also scheduled to visit Italy, France and Ireland on his trip.