Bolivian Ruling Party Happy with Outcome of Regional Elections

LA PAZ – President Evo Morales’s socialist MAS party on Monday admitted that it had made “mistakes” in its campaign for last weekend’s regional and municipal elections, but it said it was satisfied with the advances it achieved in relation to previous ballots.

MAS erred in some places by choosing candidates “who were not known by the public or, in other cases, were not those who had been selected by the rank and file,” party spokesman Jorge Silva told Efe.

“In some places, we had too much confidence with regard to the results obtained in (the general elections in) December. There was confidence, there was not the same intensity in the campaign, there are several factors,” he said.

According to Silva, those errors were made more visible in the case of the city of La Paz, where the MAS finished second in Sunday’s elections for mayor and city councilors, losing out to another leftist party, the MSM.

Exit polls show the MAS winning governorships in six of Bolivia’s nine provinces: La Paz, Oruro, Potosi, Cochabamba and Chuquisaca and Morales says that his party also won in Pando.

Regarding the municipal elections, the MAS prevailed in only three of Bolivia’s 10 largest cities.

Silva acknowledged that the MAS is satisfied with its advances compared with the last round of regional and municipal contests in 2005, when Morales’s party won only three governorships.

He added that, despite not having triumphed in some cities, the party will have a greater presence in the municipal councils and will become a “vigilant opposition.”

The spokesman said that the MAS will meet in the coming days to evaluate the results of the elections. The official results won’t be released until April 24.

“I don’t want any confrontation, but we want for the five years of administration to be to the benefit of the villages, the towns, the city halls and the provinces,” Morales said after Sunday’s vote.

The first indigenous president of Indian-majority Bolivia was elected to a five-year term in December 2005, but he faced the voters again last December to renew his mandate after the country adopted a new constitution. EFE

Source: EFE
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