In Bolivia, Evo Morales attempts a return by running for the Senate

Bolivian ex-president Evo Morales and presidential candidate Luis Arce in Buenos Aires on January 27.
Bolivian ex-president Evo Morales and presidential candidate Luis Arce in Buenos Aires on January 27. RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP

After the closing of the candidacies on Monday evening February 3, in the general elections of May 3, a name appeared on the electoral lists of parliamentarians, that of Evo Morales. Earlier in the day, the former president in exile in Argentina had assured that the authorities were trying to prevent his candidacy by threatening his lawyers responsible for authorizing him before the electoral court – one of them went "Get to safety" at the Argentine Embassy in La Paz.

But at the end of the day, his name figured well as head of the list of the Movement towards socialism (MAS) in the Senate, for the region of Cochabamba (center), where he began his political career. He is being prosecuted for “sedition and terrorism” and his chances of being able to return to Bolivia free are slim.

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Pushed to resign on November 10, dropped by the army following suspicions of fraud concerning his re-election on October 20, 2019, Evo Morales was not allowed to run for president. It’s Luis Arce, his former Minister of the Economy and architect of the so-called “Bolivian economic miracle”, who campaigns for the MAS.

Surprise application

Faced with him, as in the last election, the detractors of the MAS began a campaign Tuesday in dispersed order. Parties and alliances had until Monday to register their candidatures for the presidential, senatorial (36 senators) and legislative (120 deputies) elections. While a poll published at the end of January gives the favorite MAS candidate the right to vote (26%), he will face some seven competitors. All from the right and from the center.

Saturday 1st February, a final meeting convened by the civic committee of Santa Cruz to try to federate the various formations led, not surprisingly, to a failure. For George Komadina, political analyst and declared candidate for Comunidad Ciudadana (party of Carlos Mesa, center), "There will be no unity and it is not desirable that there be. There are too many different political sensitivities between the candidates, it would be illusory to make believe in a false union, it is necessary to preserve a certain plurality ”. However, he did not rule out possible rapprochements between certain parties in order to tighten up in "Two or three options" face at the MAS. The candidates give themselves a second chance, until April 3, to determine if the union can operate between some, after having taken the pulse of the campaign.


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