Filed under: Election, Latin America, Politics | Tags: Bolivia, Evo Morales, Movement Towards Socialism
Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, has secured reelection by a landslide. In fact, the victory gives him an even greater mandate than the one he previously enjoyed. Unofficial results show that Morales received 63 percent of the vote, an increase of almost 10 percentage points from his win in 2005.
His main rival, Manfred Reyes, exceeded analysts’ predictions and garnered 25 percent of the vote. Not surprisingly, Reyes performed much better in Departments that have long been hostile to Morales. In Santa Cruz Department, the capital of the countries opposition, Reyes won an estimated 44 percent of the vote to Morales’ 39 percent.
While the Morales victory is decisive, analysts conclude that the election highlights the “deep divisions” in the country. Nevertheless, Morales and his party, the Movement Towards Socialism, have further consolidated power and will now be asked to deliver on their promises.
To be sure, Morales is a divisive figure, both at home and abroad, but his showing on Sunday illustrates that Bolivians are behind him.
An editorial in The Guardian applauds Morales’ historic victory:
The future is clouded. It always is when one man is given so much power. There are question marks over how he will deal with his opponents, now that a national political opposition no longer exists. The country needs foreign investors to help it export value-added products instead of raw materials. But thus far, his efforts and his victory are to be applauded.
Miguel Centellas, a professor of political science currently teaching at the University of Mississippi, and a frequent commentator on Bolivian politics, has some analysis of the election and the ramifications for the future.
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