Evo Morales announces candidacy for 2025 Bolivia presidential elections

FILE PHOTO: Bolivia's President Luis Arce and former President Evo Morales attend an ancestral ceremony to ring in the Aymara New Year, in Tiwanaku

(Reuters) - Former Bolivia President Evo Morales will stand in the South American country's elections in 2025, he said on Sunday in a message on social media platform X, adding that he has been "obliged" by attacks against him.

The announcement confirms a rift between Morales, one of Latin America's most prominent leftists, and Bolivia's sitting President Luis Arce, his former economy minister turned rival within the ruling MAS party.

"Forced by the government's attacks ... I've decided to accept the requests of our members and of so many brothers and sisters who attend rallies throughout the country to be a candidate for the presidency of our beloved Bolivia," Morales said.

Morales, an Indigenous former coca farmer who led Bolivia for nearly 14 years, departed under a cloud in November 2019 after he ran for an unprecedented fourth term in an election marred by allegations of fraud.

Morales fled the country and claimed he was the victim of a right-wing "coup" that was backed by the United States.

After an 11-month caretaker government, Arce won a landslide election victory in October 2020, paving the way for Morales to return home.

(Reporting by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Mark Porter)