Manfredo Kempff writes in El Deber:
The hour of unity
October 12 will be the presidential election. We understand the difficulties that opposition has to gather and face a gale from the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), which destroys everything leaving only scorched earth and are still celebrating their victories with unprecedented management orgies. We will not join the opposition criticism that does what it can and that we are part of.
What pertained to the opposition, if they were not facing against rogues – of high caliber -, would have been to challenge the reelection of HE [His Excellency] for being abusive and unconstitutional; object the ridicule to the people with a solid block, using all the instances. In the absence of a strong opposition to halt these violations, the alternative would have been to call the voter turnout, which could worry any conscious government, which is not the case.
If you call for abstention to October 12, even if we were to create a scandal of the whole world, HE would order to go ahead and do the process and neither the Legislature nor the Electoral Tribunal would say a bit. The MAS raze solo and would get 100% of the votes and of course, with 100 % of the Assembly. It would be suicidal. The sample is in [the past] judicial elections, when abstention and blank vote previously rejected judges appointed by the MAS and the government also proceeded to sworn them in with the dire consequences which we now live with.
If the alternative is not possible, what then? Everyone knows it. We did not invent gunpowder. It should be a fight at the polls with a single candidacy. We have to dispute the election, vote to vote with the MAS; must take some power out of them, even small portions of it. If they win all the sinecures in their favor, we have to make it costly for them. We have to fight for every seat, for every space control. We must close the gap between the top two candidates. If the MAS wins the scandalous [and in my view illegitimate] re-reelection, lets not make it easy for them. We do not have to give them total power, that will end up in total mess.
If Doria Medina, Costas, Del Granado, may not add enough by going separately as polls indicate, it must be one of the three supported by the rest. If they do not agree or do not give prospects hopes of forcing a second round to any of them, then they should let another candidate run, as suggested by Rubén Costas. But do not let the expeditious path to MAS . No one should be absent at this time.
I consider that Bolivian elections to be corrupt by current government, as they do not allow the Electoral Office in Santa Cruz to oversee this coming election as it happened in earlier one. It is corrupt for the huge amounts of money in propaganda, travel of the mas leadership and the Electoral Committee condones all of that, it is corrupt because they want to bring on most of the votes of people living abroad under a very uncertain and not transparent mechanism, it is corrupt due to the hundreds of individuals who have seen their IDs cloned and is corrupt because there are over 600 people who had to flee the country, out of political corruption… and the list could go on. Thus, we ALL Bolivians need to form/support only one candidate to have a chance to REBUILD our nation. Haven’t we learn anything from Venezuela?!