Bolivians prepare to live hours of tension awaiting the final results of the presidential elections. The official scrutiny was so slow that only on Tuesday, in the best of cases, will it be known reliably if Luis Arce, the candidate of the Movement for Socialism (MAS), the party of Evo Morales, performed the political miracle of winning against all odds in the first round. The walk survey The ballot box of the consulting firm Ciesmori has stated that Arce, the maker of Morales’ economic policy, obtained the 52.4% of the votes and the former president Carlos Mesa (2003-05), champion of the center-right alliance Comunidad Ciudadana (CC), 31.5%.
The figures are similar to those of December 2005, when the era of MAS began that ended a year ago with a coup. The survey, which has a margin of error of 1%, according to Ciesmori, caused a political earthquake. The more than 20 points of difference in favor of Arce seem insurmountable. The analyst Carlos Valverde understood it resignedly and immediately expressed before the screens of the TV channel Unitel his desire that Arce not follow the historical line of his party and become a Bolivian version of the Ecuadorian Lenin Moreno, who immediately betrayed with Rafael Correa upon reaching the presidency. “He has to break up with Morales,” he demanded.
Arce, who shares his presidential formula with the former Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca, did not delay in speaking when knowing the preliminary data. “We have taken important steps. We recover democracy after 11 months, hope and certainty. Our commitment is to carry out our program. We are going to govern for all Bolivians. We will build a Government of national unity. We will reconduct the change process without hatred and learning from our mistakes. “If the provisional figures are ratified, the MAS will have a majority in both houses of Congress.
The scrutiny in limbo
The delegation of the European Union (EU) He congratulated “the Bolivian people for having staged a peaceful and participatory electoral day to define with their vote the destiny of democracy in their country.” The only reason for the contained euphoria of the winners was the lack of official data. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) had made the decision to suspend the Dissemination of Preliminary Results (Direpre). The acting president, Jeanine Áñez, said that this measure would allow only the “real results” of the elections. “Is it so hiding the great triumph of the people, “Morales said from his Argentine exile.
The president of the TSE, Salvador Romero, nevertheless called for tranquility to the population and guaranteed a clean process. “The results will be reliable,” he said. “A blind country and a thunderous silence“, the newspaper La Razón titled, before the quick count was known in the first minutes of Monday.” We do not know if we will first have the vaccine against covid-19 or the results, “said the Minister of Public Works, Iván Arias ironically But then he became serious and expressed his fear at the return of the “messianism“and” fanaticism “, alluding to the MAS.
To win in the first round, the winner must obtain at least 40% of the votes and a distance of 10 points from his immediate rival. Mesa was clinging to the possibility that the official scrutiny will resemble his dreams of going to a second shift on Nov. 29. Therefore, he called on Bolivians to wait “patients” for the final calculations. It was just a formality on his part.
The reasons for the triumph
During the early hours of Monday, some commentators tried to explain the forcefulness of Arce’s victory. On the one hand, his name is associated with years of economic boom thanks to the international prices of hydrocarbons. Those days of consumption contrast with a country whose GDP will fall 11 points, largely as a consequence of the pandemic.
But, in addition, the majority of Bolivians condemned the de facto authorities at the polls. Áñez proclaimed himself with a Bible in his hand and speeches of hostility towards the original peoples of the Andean region. Your Minister of Government, Arturo Murillo, assumed with the promise of “go out and put a bullet ” to the MAS sympathizers. Several of its leaders had to take refuge in the Mexican embassy in La Paz. Morales was prosecuted.
The approach to the health crisis, with five different Ministers of Health, the cases of corruption in the purchase of artificial respirators and the high rate of deaths from covid-19 per inhabitant (70 per 100,000, which places it in third place worldwide), it has also affected electoral behavior.