the centrist Carlos Mesa wants to unite the anti-Morales

Carlos Mesa, October 13 in Santa Cruz.

This is his second attempt in a year. As for the election of October 20, 2019, Carlos Mesa is running for the presidential election against the Movement towards Socialism (MAS), the party of ex-president Evo Morales (2006-2019). Last year, he came second, behind Morales, before the vote was canceled over accusations of fraud. This year again, the polls place him behind the MAS candidate, the former Minister of the Economy Luis Arce, given favorite if he manages to be elected in the first round, Sunday, October 18. But in the event of a second round, on November 29, Mr Mesa will be in a better position, if he manages to unify the anti-MAS candidates – a candidate can be elected in the first round if he obtains more than 40% of the votes with at least ten points ahead of its competitors.

This 67-year-old intellectual, a former prestigious journalist, representing the traditional middle classes of the western wing of the country, was already Bolivian head of state, between 2003 and 2005. His coming to power was made in a context of popular mobilizations, social convulsion and violence. The then president, Gonzalo Sanchez de Losada, had been forced to resign following the “gas war” to demand the nationalization of hydrocarbons. The repression of the demonstrations had left at least 70 dead. After the resignation and flight of Mr. Sanchez de Losada to the United States, his vice-president, Carlos Mesa, replaced him as head of state.

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Son of two renowned architects and historians, Teresa Gisbert and José de Mesa, graduated in political science and letters from the Complutense University of Madrid, he refuses to be labeled “Representative of white elites”, as the MAS supporters call it. “It would mean that Evo Morales, who has dark skin, did not represent the rest of Bolivia. It’s absurd ”, explainedehe during an interview at World, Friday, two days before the poll. “As president, I will be the president of all Bolivians”, he insists.

“Monumental fraud”

His main campaign argument: preventing the MAS from returning to power, a party according to him “Authoritarian” that he accuses of having made a “Monumental fraud” in October 2019 (even if the various reports on the conduct of the elections are contradictory). And to warn: if Evo Morales, exiled in Argentina, returns to Bolivia, “It will be to be accountable to justice”. While, in October 2019, Carlos Mesa called on the Bolivians to mobilize against the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), he assures that, this time, he “Will recognize the result of the election”, and this, whatever the result.

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