Two years ago, in a referendum called by the government, the majority of Bolivians voted against the proposal to change the constitutional norm that limits the continuous presidential reelection to a single time. The reaction of those who hold power was – and still is – anger; for the first time since 2005, the official party lost in a national electoral act and its leaders, in dismay, continue to attribute the result that was adverse to the “lies propagated by the right”, which, in the case -certainly denied- that there were, would not be grounds to contest a vote. In truth lies and false promises are common in electoral campaigns, and few are free from this sin.
But, finally, when the case seemed closed, the ruling party, which never recovered from the loss, appealed to the Constitutional Court, insisting that the new re-election of the president be allowed. The ruling was surprising and unforgiving. There was a sample of the dependence of those in charge of giving justice to the government, pretending to consecrate ongoing extension.
The situation has changed in the country and in Latin America. The neopopulism, inspired by Heinz Dieterich Steffan’s Socialism of the 21st Century, which seemed uncontainable, is now in backward movement; only the populist regimes of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia remain. And after more than a decade of management of the current Bolivian government, the majority demands with clear determination to respect, without obstacles, one of the elements of democracy: the alternation. It is that never made sense the announcement of the pro-government that they have come to power not as tenants, but to stay. Neither has convinced the preaching that all the evils that have been and are being caused are caused by the “right” and by the “empire”, as part of a “cursed” inheritance.
The rejection is also to generalized corruption, to errors and inefficiency in the management of the State administration. This is a failed government management, despite the exceptional opportunity offered by the international market to export products.
To disqualify the current citizen resistance to the ongoing extension is to deny the reality. At the same time, it is to deny that freedom and democratic rights are limited. The truth is that the authoritarian and exclusionary populist model is objected. And there is no fear in showing disappointment and disbelief in this political adventure. Citizens protest, and it is clear that their determination is to recover the democratic values now lost.