Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bolivia: Evo Morales Poised to Secure Presidency for Third Time

According to The Latin American Tribune, President Evo Morales has wound up his electoral campaign with the expectation of a third opportunity as Bolivian president in general elections on Sunday (October 12) as anticipated by opinion polls, while rival Samuel Doría Medina is hoping for a miracle.

Both candidates ended their campaigns on Wednesday coinciding with the arrival of the electoral observation missions of the Organization of American States and the Union of South American Nations.

Morales closed the campaign in his bastion of El Alto city, the poorest and second most-populated in Bolivia, before a crowd of tens of thousands of followers.

Meanwhile, Doría Medina chose the eastern city of Santa Cruz, the most prosperous and inhabited region of the country.

In his speech, Morales seemed confident of winning in the nine departments of the country because of his management of the administration since January 2006 when he took charge for the first time.

Morales started his second term in 2010 and now seeks a third with the endorsement of the constitutional court, which argued that although the constitution allows only two consecutive terms, the first term from 2006 to 2010 does not count as the country was re-founded in 2009 with a new constitution.

According to the president, “Sunday will give a blow to the empire, neoliberalism, traitors and separatists.”

Morales always labels the United States as an empire and his opposition rivals as “traitors” and “separatists,” accusing them of wanting to hand over natural resources to foreign companies and wanting to divide the country.

COMMENT: Doría Medina said that Sunday would mark an important day for democracy in Bolivia as in nine years Morales has only governed to get more power and his terms have resulted in more insecurity, drug trafficking, corruption, and less justice and freedom.

According to opinion polls, Morales is the preferred favorite with between 57-59% of the vote, with an advantage of more than 40 points over Doría Medina, who will get between 13-18%.

After the end of campaigning, from Thursday there will be a period of 72 hours of “electoral silence” until election day, during which candidates do not appear in the media or in electoral events.

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