Elections in Bolivia: after a year of turmoil, president is elected What is at stake?

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More than 7 million people are eligible to vote. Luis Arce of the MAS and the centrist Carlos Mesa lead the polls.

Bolivians go to the polls this Sunday, almost a year after the elections that ended up being annulled amid allegations of fraud and unleashed a political crisis that has not been resolved so far.

These new general elections in Bolivia They must give rise to a new government that came out of the polls, which faces enormous challenges for the country, especially the economic crisis left by the coronavirus pandemic and governance.

After a year of interim government, after the hasty resignation of Evo Morales, who denounced a coup and took refuge first in Mexico and then in Argentina, from where the Movement for Socialism led the campaign of his party.

For the first time in almost three decades, the leader of the coca producers will not be able to be a candidate, but his dolphin, Luis Arce, former economy minister, appears as a favorite, closely followed by the former president Carlos Mesa. A possible second round is not ruled out Between both.

Acting President Jeanine Áñez finally withdrew her controversial candidacy, at the risk of splitting the vote against MAS. Morales’s party seeks to retake the power it held for nearly fourteen years and lost last November.

Fragmented into six candidacies, his detractors want to prevent the MAS from ruling again for the excesses that they consider Morales committed, including his controversial empowerment to seek reelection despite the fact that the Constitution that he himself promulgated allows only two continuous terms.

The Bolivian elections have been pending since the annulment of those held in October 2019, in which Evo Morales was declared the winner for a fourth consecutive term among allegations of fraud in his favor, which are criminally investigated and which he denies.

Irregularities such as the sudden change in trend in the preliminary count, which went from anticipating a second round to giving Morales the victory in the first round, unleashed one of the biggest conflicts in recent Bolivian history.

The departure of Morales left a power vacuum, since with him those who could constitutionally succeed him also resigned, until after two days, the then Senator Áñez activated a succession mechanism and assumed the interim Presidency with the endorsement of the Constitutional Court.

The prospect was to hold the elections on May 3, but the covid-19 pandemic struck and the date moved first to September 6 and then to October 18, amid violent protests by the MAS, which accused Áñez of use the health crisis to extend his mandate.

The decision of who will govern Bolivia during the next five years is in the hands of 7,332,925 Bolivians authorized to vote.

The favorites according to the polls are Arce, former Morales economy minister, Mesa and former Santa Cruz civic leader Luis Fernando Camacho, who gained great notoriety in last year’s protests against Morales.

One of the main missions of the winner will be to face the blow of the pandemic against the Bolivian economy, which registered a fall of 7.9% from January to July and is expected to close the year with a decrease of 6.2%.

The deficit exceeded 2,800 million dollars in the first semester, a figure that was forecast for the entire year, and unemployment rose to 11.8 percent, negative data attributed to the quarantine that ruled in Bolivia from the end of March to August included.

The interim Executive appealed to internal and external credits to cover the deficiencies and alleviate the situation with measures such as social aid and job creation plans.

In the elections, the renewal of the national Parliament for the next five years is also at stake, the key to ensuring governance To the winner.


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