PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY IN BOLIVIA
Bolivia’s MAS Launches Campaign in El Alto, Loza Replaces Evo
teleSUR | September 13, 2020
The frontrunners, according to polls, were joined by thousands at El Alto’s Mercado Campesino Santa Rosa as they spread the slogan on the ground and online “Vamos a salir adelante” translating to “We’ll come out ahead.”
MAS caravans and campaign events are taking place around the country with five weeks until the election.
The party has elected Leonardo Loza, leader of the Federation of Intercultural Communities of Chimore, one of the Six Federations of the Tropico, to replace Evo Morales as Senate candidate in Cochabamba after Morales was disqualified in a political act by the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), coerced by the Añez regime.
The decision was said to be based on non-compliance with the requirement to reside in the country for a minimum of two years, as Evo Morales is currently exiled in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Evo Morales tweeted his support for the decision, “The election of my soul brother and fellow struggle Leonardo Loza as a candidate for senator for Cochabamba to replace me was excellent. Leonardo is the son of the #ProcesoDeCambio (Process of Change) and a born leader of the people, of social conscience and great commitment to the Plurinational State. Successes!”
Loza has been persecuted among other union leaders by the defacto government for their alleged rolle in the recent protests against the postponement of elections.
Jeanine Añez, who has utilized speeches on state media to campaign and attack her adversaries Evo Morales and Carlos Mesa, has been running at a distant third place according to polls.
Opponents agree that Añez and her party “Juntos,” has committed electoral crimes by campaigning through state media and using an official speech to do so. Carlos Mesa’s Citizen Community party says they’ll be taking action against the infringement.
For the spokesman of the MAS, Sebastián Michel, what was done by the President represents embezzlement of funds. “She does this from a public channel (..) but the bad thing is that she does not pay for it and the Bolivians pay for it. She has to pay out of her pocket,” he said, as he announced a complaint before the TSE.
Beyond the sheer brutality of the violence surrounding the coup—in which Mesa and Añez co-conspired—right-wing candidates will all be pursuing the same neoliberal agenda to fulfill the interests of external actors, namely foreign capital and multinationals who the MAS warns will be given unrestricted access to Bolivia’s natural resources.
The coup regime has not only stealthily taken an IMF loan without approval of the elected legislature, but it’s also been caught in multiple corruption schemes while driving the economy into crisis.
Bolivia’s elections are scheduled for October 18 after changing the date thrice as the regime has tried to delay its ouster. Eight parties are participating in races for the offices of President, Vice President, and seats in the Senate and Lower House.
Voter intention surveys like the one published one week ago, financed by Unitel and Bolivisión and conducted by Ciesmori, show a strong lead for the MAS which is polling 13 points ahead of the Citizen Community.