Morales Draws High Electoral Support in Bolivia

September 04, 2009

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Bolivian president Evo Morales will likely secure another term in office in an upcoming election, according to a poll by Encuestas & Estudios Gallup International. 57.7 per cent of respondents would vote for Morales in the December ballot.

Samuel Doria Medina of the National Unity Front (FUN) is far behind with 9.7 per cent, followed by former Cochabamba mayor Manfred Reyes Villa of the New Republican Force (NFR) with 8.6 per cent, and former president Jorge Quiroga with 7.2 per cent. Support is lower for former vice-president and indigenous activist Víctor Hugo Cárdenas, Potosí mayor René Joaquino of Wide Front (FA), Germán Antelo of the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (MNR), and independent candidate Jimena Costa.

In 2005, Evo Morales—an indigenous leader and former coca-leaf farmer—won the December 2005 presidential election as the candidate for the Movement to Socialism (MAS), with 53.7 per cent of the vote. The first indigenous leader to become president of Bolivia was officially sworn in January 2006.

Morales’s tenure has been focused on “re-founding” Bolivia through a new constitution. The new document was ratified last January.

The revamped constitution includes a bill of rights and an entire chapter dedicated to Bolivia’s 36 indigenous nations. It also put the economy in the hands of the state, limited landholdings, redistributed revenues from gas fields in the eastern lowlands to the country’s poorer areas, and included a compromise that will allow the current president to seek only one additional five-year term.

Under the terms of the new body of law, a general election has been scheduled for Dec. 6. Morales is seeking re-election.

On Sept. 1, Morales said he would like the opposition to unite into a single front so that only two forces go into the election, saying, “How good it would be to have two fronts: us, with the people and with the social forces, and the neo-liberals under the mentorship of the empire.”

Source: Angus Reid Global Monitor

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