Subnational elections in Bolivia: another vote of confidence for MAS party

Peoples Dispatch | March 28, 2021

The ruling government of progressive Movement Towards Socialism (MAS)party emerged as the winner of the subnational elections held in Bolivia on March 7. Photo: Agencia Boliviana de Información

The results of the subnational elections held in Bolivia on March 7 confirm the faith of the Bolivian people in the ruling government of the progressive Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party and its transformation project. According to the results of the departmental, regional and municipal elections released on March 22, the MAS is the only party that has a broad presence in all the nine departments of the country.

The MAS won 240 out of 336 mayor’s offices, which represents a majority of over 70% of the country’s local governments. The party secured 13 more mayors than in the last elections held in 2015. Additionally, in 19 municipalities, the victory was consolidated with 100% of the valid vote.

In the La Paz department, which has the most mayor’s offices in the country, the MAS won 63 out of 87 municipalities. Cochabamba is the department in which MAS won the most number of municipalities: 41 of the 47. Meanwhile, in Santa Cruz department, the MAS won the least number of municipalities: 28 of the 54. In other departments, the party did fairly well. It won 35 of the 41 municipalities in Potosí, 28 of the 33 in Oruro, 21 of the 29 in Chuquisaca, 8 of the 19 in Beni, 8 of 15 in Pando, and 8 of the 11 in Tarija.

In the case of governors, five new governors were elected on March 7, while four departments will hold a second round on April 11, because no candidate managed to obtain the required number of votes to win in the first round. Three of the five elected governors belong to the MAS.

The citizens of Cochabamba, Potosí and Oruro departments elected the MAS’ candidates, while the residents of the Santa Cruz department elected former presidential candidate Luis Fernando Camacho as their governor, and the population of Beni department chose Alejandro Unzueta of the Indigenous MTS party. The voters of the La Paz, Chuquisaca, Pando and Tarija departments will go on the polls for the run-off elections.

On March 7, over 7.3 million Bolivians were eligible to vote and elect the country’s new subnational authorities for the period 2021-2026. The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) reported the voter turnout was over 80%.

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