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News > Latin America

Bolivia: Morales and Garcia Linera Register Candidacies

  • Bolivian President Evo Morales at the ceremony of World's Camelids Convention in Oruro, Bolivia, November 21, 2018.

    Bolivian President Evo Morales at the ceremony of World's Camelids Convention in Oruro, Bolivia, November 21, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 28 November 2018

Presidential incumbent Evo Morales registers his candidacy with Bolivia's electoral council, as does right-wing candidate with ties to Brazil's Bolsonaro.

Evo Morales and his vice presidential running mate, Alvaro Garcia Linera will officially register their candidacy for the highest posts in Bolivia Wednesday representing. They will run for the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party in the 2019 general elections.  

Bolivia’s 2019 Elections Ahead of Primaries: Runners and Riders

Minister of Productive Development and Plural Economy Eugenio Rojas told reporters Tuesday that over 12,000 Morales-Garcia Linera supporters will be present at the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) as the two incumbents register to retake their positions for the 2020-2025 presidential term.

"More than 12,000 people will be present tomorrow (Wednesday) in Abaroa Square at noon.” The minister said that social organizations from all over the country, including the Bolivian Workers' Federation (COB) and the National Coordinator for Change (Conalcam), will gather in front of the TSE to witness the ‘Evo-Alvaro' registration.

The Left Revolutionary Front (FRI) has announced its candidates—Carlos Mesa and Gustavo Pedraza, the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) is endorsing Jaime Paz Zamora and Paola Barriga, and the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR) favors Virginio Lema and Fernando Untoja as their presidential and vice presidential candidates.


Bolsonaro Supports Bolivia's Right-Wing, Anti-Morales Coalition

Carlos Mesa, Morales' leading rival, has served as vice president and president. He was in power just prior to Evo’s first win in 2006. Mesa is best known as serving alongside former president Sanchez de Lozada, who fled by helicopter to Miami just as Bolivia was experiencing one of its worst economic crisis. He was also responsible for the ‘Black October’ massacre, during which state security forces killed over 60 Bolivians in the context of anti-privatization protests. 

Also in the official running list for the 2019 elections is the Solidarity Civic Unity (UCS), which has endorsed another Sanchez de Lozada VP, Victor Hugo Cardenas. Cardenas has chosen 36-year-old pastor Eric Humberto Peinado Mendez as his running mate.

Cardenas was a big supporter of privatization and austerity measures during his term in the 1990s and opposed the 2016 Gender Identity Law that allows Bolivians to change their name and gender through an administrative process with surgical requirements.

He and Mendez have the support of the right-wing social movement “Las Calles,” which has formal and financial links to Brazil's recently-elected far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.

Nov. 28 is the last day for registration. The TSE will announce the qualified applicants on Dec. 8. Questions still remain around the TSE’s decision to accept Morales’ bid because of the February 21, 2016 (21F) referendum where 51.3 percent of Bolivians voted against a constitutional amendment to allow re-election.

However, In 2017, Bolivia’s highest court struck down limits on re-election, paving the way for President Morales to run for a fourth term in 2019

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