Evo Morales' party choosing candidates for Bolivia elections

With its top leader absent, the party of Evo Morales is gathering in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba to start choosing its candidates for new elections called after the resignation and exile of the former president amid protests over vote results

"Evo is not alone", shouted party militants, mostly from social and indigenous organizations, in a Cochabamba coliseum.

MAS president Rimer Ágreda said the gathered delegates will vote to punish members who betrayed the party, apparently referring to party members who didn't back Morales.

"We have to give a punishment vote to all (those) who are at the service of the U.S. embassy," he added. Morales has said that he was ousted with U.S. support.

Chamber of Deputies president Sergio Choque said Morales will have final say over the candidates chosen. "We will go (the elections) with new candidates coming from the social sectors.

Morales left the Andean country on Nov. 11 for Mexico, a day after his resignation. Sen. Jeanine Áñez then assumed the presidency temporarily for 90 days. A consensus of political forces was later reached to call new elections and cancel the Oct. 20 vote, which an Organization of American States report has said with filled with irregularities and manipulation.

Morales underwent treatment in Cuba in 2017 for nose, ear and throat complaints.