Bolivia: Evo Morales Announces Candidacy for Presidency

Orinoco Tribune, September 25, 2023 —

This is the first official electoral announcement for the upcoming presidential elections, taking place in the midst of the internal division of the ruling Movement Towards Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo).

Bolivia’s former president Evo Morales confirmed his candidacy this Sunday for the 2025 presidential elections. He pointed out that he was forced to make this decision, for which he will fight, in the midst of the internal division of the ruling Movement Towards Socialism (MAS). This is the first official electoral announcement for the 2025 elections, although other sectors of the ruling party will eventually promote the candidacy of the current president, Luis Arce.

In his program on the local radio station Kawsachun Coca, Morales said: “They have convinced me to be a candidate, they have obliged me; of course the people want it, but it’s the right wing, the government and the empire that are forcing me to do it.” He also added that there is a dirty campaign against him, since the opposition has labelled him as a drug trafficker, and the government of President Luis Arce and Vice President David Choquehuanca have also labelled him as the so-called king of cocaine. It is these situations that have lead him to him step up as a presidential candidate.

Morales maintained that: “We are not going to give up and we are going to partake in this difficult democratic battle, and we must build proposals. I have upcoming meetings with businesspeople and I welcome proposals, since we have to build the post-bicentennial agenda.” The former president regretted that Arce, who was minister of economy during his government, has apparently advanced nothing at all in the agenda that they made, with the 13 pillars towards the bicentennial of the country.

As in other occasions, the former president denounced the government of Arce for its plan to displace him from the party via political processes and even to eliminate him physically, which is why he decided to accept the request of the candidacy. He remarked in a post on his X account (formerly Twitter): “We are going to confront the adversary with truth, dignity and honesty.”

A Divided Congress

Morales’ announcement comes just a few days before the MAS national congress is to be held, from October 3 to 5 in the tropic of Cochabamba, one of its political strongholds, which was also a topic of dispute for the ruling party. Arce’s allies tried to have the congress held in the city of El Alto, close to La Paz, and to renew the leaders of the ruling party, starting with Morales himself. But leaders close to Morales have already warned that the MAS meeting will decide on the expulsion of Arce and Choquehuanca, whom they consider to be traitors.

Morales said that his detractors will seek to disqualify his candidacy using allegations involving a a woman, just as the right wing did during the 2019 crisis, when in the midst of allegations of electoral fraud in his favor he resigned denouncing a coup d’état. Faced with the resignations of all those in line of succession, the opposition candidate Jeanine Áñez assumed the role of the interim presidency of the country.

Moral confirmed: “We are never going to give up, sisters and brothers, united we are going to save our beloved Bolivia again.” This Saturday the MAS leadership, which is close to the former president, accused the Arce government of allegedly pressuring the Supreme Electoral Tribunal through some of its leaders to try to invalidate the party’s congress.

Also on Saturday, Vice President David Choquehuanca called for unity and said that he was tired of confrontation. Choquehuanca warned that: “If this continues, the people may get angry against the political class, and when the people get angry, they may start kicking the wrong dog.” Furthermore, the minister of public works, services and housing, Édgar Montaño, accused Morales of leading the MAS into a grave by listening to people who lie and have a so-called angst for power.

The problems within the MAS started at the end of 2022 with criticisms of the government’s management and corruption accusations against some ministers. Other conflicts have had to do with the freezing of the judicial elections or the election of executives for two sectors (evista and arcista) in the Bolivian Peasant Workers Union Confederation (CSUTCB).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *