In events around the country on Monday, Bolivia’s ruling leftist party, ‘Movement Towards Socialism’, announced their candidates for the upcoming general elections on October 20th. Morales attended events in two regions to inaugurate the candidates.
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On Monday, President Morales spoke in the Amazon region of Pando, and in the capital La Paz. Speaking in Pando at a local labor union building, Morales welcomed the candidates, and laid out his party’s approach to government, saying;
"Our program is simple; in the political, re-foundation [of the state]. In the economic, nationalization, and on the social question, the redistribution of wealth. So sisters and brothers, that model has produced results...my great hope is that with this team, we can finish big development projects we have for the Pando department, we will win with the truth against the falsehoods of the right-wing"
Later in the day, Morales spoke in La Paz at the factory workers union building, inaugurating the candidates for that region. There he said that his party has “Plans, programs, policies and projects produced by the people, our policies are not imported from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund....we are all soldiers, soldiers of the homeland and of the revolution”
Candidates for the MAS are selected by both the party and the social movements affiliated to it, the largest of which are the campesino union (CSUTCB), and the labor union federation (COB). High profile candidates from the social movements include Jesus Vera, former leader of the powerful El Alto neighbourhood community union, and Andronico Rodriguez, the 29 year old leader of the coca growers union, tipped by many as a possible successor to Evo Morales.
Bolivia’s opposition candidates include Carlos Mesa from ‘Citizens Community’ and Oscar Ortiz from ‘Bolivia says No’. Concerns have been raised that the right-wing opposition candidates may privatize Bolivia’s state gas company, which most analysts agree is the source of the country’s rapid economic growth.