Electoral court accepts Bolivian president's re-election bid

FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2018 file photo, Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a press conference in Government Palace in La Paz, Bolivia.  Bol

FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2018 file photo, Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a press conference in Government Palace in La Paz, Bolivia. Bol

An opponent of President Evo Morales hangs from a cross during a protest outside the Supreme Electoral Tribunal offices, in La Paz, Bolivia, Wednesday

An opponent of President Evo Morales hangs from a cross during a protest outside the Supreme Electoral Tribunal offices, in La Paz, Bolivia, Wednesday

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia's top electoral court has accepted President Evo Morales' candidacy for a fourth term in office despite a constitutional ban and referendum against such a re-election.

Electoral Tribunal President Maria Eugenia Choque announced the ruling Tuesday night. The election for a five-year term is set for November 2019.

Bolivians rejected a constitutional amendment to allow more than two consecutive terms in a 2016 referendum, but Morales' party convinced the constitutional court last year to rule his candidacy was legal. It said term limits violate citizens' human right to run for office.

Morales took office in 2005 and supported a 2009 constitution that allowed only two consecutive terms — though he later argued the restriction took effect only after the new constitution was adopted. He was re-elected in 2009 and 2014.