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  • Evo Morales with supporters in El Alto

    Evo Morales with supporters in El Alto | Photo: ABI

Published 17 October 2019

"In these elections again, we are going to beat those who sold out our country. We are going to beat the neoliberals, sisters and brothers. We are going to beat those who privatized our natural resources."

Evo Morales’ ‘Movement Towards Socialism’ party marked the official close of their election campaign on Wednesday afternoon. The event was held in the overwhelmingly Indigenous city of El Alto, at which Morales asked for five more years to continue Bolivia’s path to development and to ‘beat the neoliberals’. The presidential elections will be held on Sunday.

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"In these elections again, we are going to beat those who sold out our country. We are going to beat the neoliberals, sisters and brothers. We are going to beat those who privatized our natural resources," said Morales to the huge rally.

He added: "With Brother Álvaro (García Linera) we want five more years so that Bolivia continues to grow economically, to finish our great works such as the construction of roads, airports, industries, petrochemicals, the iron industry, lithium, by 2025 we want extreme poverty at less than 5%."

At the rally, a moment of silence was held for the victims of ‘Black October’, a massacre that took place in El Alto in 2003 during protests against privatization of the country’s natural gas reserves. The massacre was carried out by the government of neoliberal President Gonzalez Sanchez de Lozada, whose vice president at the time was Carlos Mesa, who is the leading opposition candidate today. 

Thursday marks the anniversary of Sanchez de Lozada fleeing the country by helicopter to Miami, as his government collapsed under a wave of popular protest led by Evo Morales, who was a union leader at the time. 

Polls indicate that Evo Morales is on course for a first round victory. Though different polls have shown different likely outcomes. One poll carried out by the UMSA university, and paid for by USAID and the NED show that Morales has a narrow lead of just 7 percent. However, other polls, such as that carried out by the think tank CELAG show a lead of 13 percent, polling just under 40 percent, the threshold needed for a first round victory.   

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