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News > Bolivia

Bolivia's Evo Morales Celebrates 13 Years in Power As Elections Kick Off

  • Evo Morales celebrates his 13th year in office with a message of continuity

    Evo Morales celebrates his 13th year in office with a message of continuity | Photo: EFE

Published 22 January 2019

This Sunday, the president will participate in his party's primary for members of the governing Movement to Socialism (MAS) party to endorse his candidacy.

President of Bolivia Evo Morales celebrated thirteen years in power, a record in the history of the country, with a message of continuity of his economic and social policies, hoping to govern until 2025.

Morales delivered a 51-minute speech to parliament, one of the shortest in his time in office, on Bolivia's Plurinational State Day, a celebration that he himself instituted in 2010.

Morales did not explicitly refer to next October's elections in Bolivia in which he is running for re-election, but he delivered a key message for the future making promises for what his government will continue to do if it stays in power until 2025.

"The poor and the humble will continue to be a priority for the State," he said about "the ultimate meaning" of a government project that he hopes to prolong. He also stressed Bolivia’s growth and promised to continue it.

The ten-year celebration of the Plurinational State, enshrined by the 2009 constitution which, coincided Morales’ thirteen years in power, giving the president more time as head of the country.

Morales hopes to be reelected a candidacy considered illegal by the opposition, which argues for a constitutional limit of two consecutive terms and for a referendum that in 2016 reinforced that limitation.

If he were to win in October, it would be his fourth consecutive term, and one which has been endorsed via a ruling of the Constitutional Court that established his right to indefinite re-election. In 2014 the court had authorized his third term based on the fact that his first term took place before the new constitution was in place and before the founding of the Republic of the Plurinational State in 2009.

This Sunday, the president must participate in his party primaries, so that the members of the governing Movement to Socialism (MAS) party can endorse his candidacy.

Most of his words focused on highlighting economic and social achievements of these thirteen years, remembering his government's landmark projects like lithium industrialization, for which he set a deadline between 2019 and 2020, and announcing new measures like a commission against corruption.

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