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Bolivians Promote Fourth Term for President Evo Morales

LADB Article ID: 80208
Category/Department: Bolivia
Date: 2017-02-10
By: Andrés Gaudín

In 32 months, Bolivians will vote for a new president to lead the country until 2025, the bicentennial of Bolivia’s independence. Although the current president, Evo Morales, does not qualify to run for re-election, the ruling Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS) has already decided to support his candidacy for a fourth consecutive term. Trade unions as well as campesino (rural worker) and women’s social movements had made that same decision sometime in 2016, and the unanimous resolution by the MAS party congress on Dec. 17 was decisive, so all of Morales’ supporters have launched a full electoral campaign. In February 2016, the same sectors promoted a referendum to allow Morales’ reelection, but the proposition was rejected, 51.3% to 48.7%. It was the president’s first defeat since he began running for office in 2006. Now, the congress has floated the idea of “four legal alternatives to enable the new candidacy within a constitutional track.” The opposition, weak and scattered, reiterates a political line that calls Morales an authoritarian figure, almost dictatorial, willing to put himself above the Constitution and the law. Surveys show little citizen sympathy for this view.

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