Tensions in Bolivia after Evo Morales re-elected because of alleged fraud
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
President Evo Morales of Bolivia was re-elected according to internal sources that stipulate he won just over 47 percent of the vote. However, according to Carlos Mesa who won just over 36 percent of the vote, he claims that electoral fraud took place. Therefore, protests have erupted in La Paz at a time of heightened tensions in several parts of this continent.
Morales, a charismatic leader irrespective if people support or oppose, is the first modern indigenous leader of Bolivia. Yet, since taking office in 2006 then gradual discontent increased. Despite this, it is important to highlight that major divisions exist throughout this continent – from Brazil to Nicaragua, alleged corruption goes in both directions – irrespective if left-wing or right-wing.
Unsurprisingly, the governments of America, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia are siding with Mesa. Hence, they support a second-round vote. Likewise, nations like Mexico and Venezuela support non-interference based on left-wing factors. Thus, it is essential to overcome propaganda on all sides and seek a more balanced approach.
The BBC reports, “Despite the controversies, many indigenous Bolivians continue to back him, saying Mr Mesa – who ran for the Civic Community (Comunidad Ciudadana) political alliance – embodies the white Bolivian elite. They also question his commitment to the poor.”
On the one hand, Mesa stipulates, “The government is despising the popular vote.” Yet, on the other hand, Morales is accusing the supporters of Mesa of seeking a coup-d’état.
Morales sought to over-rule the limits of presidential terms in 2016 but he was condemned for this. However, the political party he represents (MAS – Movement for Socialism) took the issue to the constitutional court. The outcome being the court allowed Morales to run for office again. Therefore, even before the recent election political tensions were high.
It remains to be seen how Morales will respond if the pressure increases to boiling point. Either way, it seems that Bolivia and other nations throughout the continent are witnessing times of discontent.
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