How Will a Delayed Vote Alter Bolivia’s Presidential Race?

Latin American Advisor reports, as it is highly biased, only. excerpts follow and truth is pointed out inside this type of brackets []:

Citing the coronavirus pandemic, interim Bolivian President Jeanine Áñez’s government postponed the country’s presidential election, which had been planned for May 3. // File Photo: Bolivian Government. 

Question: Bolivia’s interim government has postponed the country’s May 3 presidential election amid the coronavirus pandemic. The May vote had been planned as a re-do following the disputed re-election victory and subsequent self-exile of then-President Evo Morales last year. Since then, the national ombudsman and human rights groups [who are aligned and were appointed by the coca grower caudillo, thus, are tremendously biased] have accused interim President Jeanine Áñez of presiding over the detentions of hundreds of political opponents [evo’s political persecution ended in over 700 Bolivians that fled the country], the silencing of journalists [evo had managed that PAT, La Razon, ATB through blackmail ended up in the hands of his acolytes] and a campaign of so-called “national pacification” that has left dozens of people dead [evo called for blockades of food to cities and one of his hordes almost blew up in Senkata, a gasoline and gas warehouse that could have caused over ten thousand death, as the explosion would have been exploded in the middle of a neighborhood in El Alto city]. How is Bolivia’s presidential race shaping up? What effect will the delayed election and the coronavirus outbreak have on the country’s politics? What should be done about the human rights abuse accusations lodged against Áñez’s interim government? [What about the violent and deadly reaction of evo’s acolytes?! What about the 60+ Bolivian murdered citizens as a result of evo’s wrongdoings, when he had absolute control of ALL State powers?!] 

Answer: Iván C. Rebolledo, managing partner at TerraNova Strategic Partners and president of the Bolivian-American Chamber of Commerce: “The pre-electoral cycle is filled with notable hiccups, from the Covid-19 outbreak, detention of numerous MAS political opponents and intolerance by this transition government on numerous fronts. The Áñez government is clearly doing what it believes has to be done to avoid a MAS triumph in the upcoming election and the return of Evo Morales and his nefarious grip on the country. The Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE) has ordered the suspension of the electoral calendar by 14 days to match the national quarantine. However, it has yet to set a new official date for the actual vote. Unfortunately, this administration does not respond well to international media criticism [mostly left-aligned press from Spain, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba, that is all those populist governments that received funding from evo and ALBA]. Local protests are at times criminalized, and charges of sedition and terrorism are being leveled for disagreeing or questioning the current government. At the moment, all political campaigns have been put on pause, and they are all focusing on prevention and informing the public of the perils of Covid-19. President Áñez’ government has been very aggressive on the fight against this pandemic with progressive economic and social policies, a 14-day mandatory quarantine of all Bolivians, job safety and other initiatives. However, the overall effect on the Bolivian economy will be disastrous for years to come [Let’s not forget that evo squandered billions of dollars in state-owned failures, rampant corruption and blooming narcotrafficking]. Undoubtedly, Áñez’s administration is leaving a strong conservative mark, and it will not easily give up control. We have swung from one side of the pendulum to the other. Only fair and transparent elections will decide. The issue of probing human rights abuses by this government will mostly likely happen during the next administration.” [and when unbiased Human Rights personnel are hired, current people in those instances were had picked and appointed by evo’s political party]

Answer: John Walsh, director for drug policy and the Andes at the Washington Office on Latin America: “Postponing national elections should be reserved for only the most extreme circumstances. This is all the more true in a polarized environment like Bolivia’s, where the executive branch does not have a mandate from the voters and where credible elections will be crucial to fostering social peace. The public health threat posed by Covid-19 meets this extraordinary threshold. But Bolivia’s interim government under Jeanine Áñez does not have the authority on its own to postpone elections, much less to set a new voting date. [which she never tried, so this is misleading] Attempting to do so unilaterally would inflame an already tense situation—especially because Áñez is not only the interim executive but is herself campaigning for the presidency, despite having pledged that she would not run. The electoral authority (TSE) is seeking to promote dialogue across the competing parties on the key question of a new voting date. Ultimately, the political parties themselves will need to reach an agreement that can become law, in a legislature where MAS still holds majorities in both chambers. Reaching such an agreement will be complicated by deep mutual distrust among key actors and many of their supporters. MAS presidential candidate Luis Arce enjoys a sizable lead in the polls. MAS, having acknowledged the need to postpone the voting, can be expected to bargain for the briefest possible delay and to insist that the Áñez government’s harassment of MAS candidates and partisans must cease immediately. All Bolivians must ultimately consider the electoral process to be credible in order for the voting results to help heal the country’s divisions rather than exacerbate tensions and stoke renewed conflict and violence. As an agreement is forged on the legislation needed to set a new electoral calendar, technical and scientific criteria regarding the protection of both public health and electoral integrity must prevail so that all Bolivians can have confidence that they will be able to fully exercise their fundamental right to freely elect their own leaders as soon as possible.” 

Answer: Roberto Laserna, director of the Center for the Study of Economic and Social Reality (CERES) in Cochabamba, Bolivia: “An independent body, the electoral tribunal, made the decision to postpone the election. The justice system in Bolivia, including the attorney general’s office, was fully controlled by Evo Morales during his long and illegitimate government. It was used against political opponents and covered up criminal abuses, as former authorities—who defected and fled the country even before Evo’s resignation— confessed. Áñez’ government runs the country with a Legislative Assembly that Morales’ MAS party absolutely controls. Áñez barely has control of her own cabinet. Yet, she is managing the country. Most of the allegations on human rights violations have been or are under investigation by pro-Morales bodies. Preliminary findings do not support claims about political detentions, persecution of journalists nor ‘massacres.’ Those are accusations usually disseminated by interest groups closely associated with Morales and his allies. The electoral campaign was moving properly in most parts of the country, allowing for MAS to regain credibility in the absence of Morales, whose illegal and authoritarian behavior the electorate openly rejected last year. Competition was fierce on the other side, with Carlos Mesa and Jeanine Áñez competing vote-by-vote for the right to face MAS in a second round. However, the Covid-19 pandemic absorbed all efforts, revealing the critical condition in which the Morales government left the health system. Elections do not have a date, but the emergency is showing who is eager to take chances on the opportunity and who is able to act responsibly. Depending on the conditions after the pandemic, the electoral process will restart, or it may be reshaped with different actors.”

Bolivian Thoughts opinion: We need to rebuild our Republic. We need to prosecute evo and his acolytes, for all the squandering, corruption, deaths, threats and mismanagement he engaged in the last 14 years. His ochlocracy destroyed our institutionality. Blooming narcotrafficking under his government, brought deadly settling of accounts to our streets, nothing like that ever seen before. Bolivia had the best economic times ever under the worst possible government. He changed the constitution, he managed to stay in power well beyond his own constitution mandate. His inaction led to over five million hectares of forest to be burned. He allowed coca planting inside National Parks and Indigenous Reserves. He instructed the execution of alleged terrorist at the Americas Hotel. He instructed police brutality over indigenous elder, women and children at Chaparina; as well as disabled Bolivians. And the list goes on, this blog is filled with examples, facts of this corrupt and useless government. That is why we must not allow MAS or evo to continue to destroy our beloved country.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: