Bolivian president Evo Morales is all set to be re-elected president of the country, according to the latest polls conducted by the pollster ViaCiencia. Nearly 43.2% of Bolivians plan to vote for the Evo Morales-Álvaro García Linera ticket while only 21.3% of voters chose right-wing candidate Carlos Mesa.
The polls are a ray of hope after several weeks of high tension in Bolivia and on the continent. On Thursday, September 12, right-wing thugs attacked militants of the Morales’ party, the Movement for Socialism (MAS), in the city of Santa Cruz. They destroyed three campaign offices of MAS and burned another to the ground. Many were injured in the incident, including women and young children, and equipment was stolen during the chaos.
The attack was immediately denounced the Bolivian government and president Morales himself, who called the attacks “a conspiracy against democracy and all those who defend it”. Morales also reported that the day before, when the campaign headquarters of MAS in the Chulumani municipality was set to be inaugurated, right-wing provocateurs attacked and burned a social center, a police station, and the offices of the peasant federation, Sud Yungas.
The president of the Bolivian senate, Adriana Salvatierra, also denounced the attacks and highlighted that they were very similar to the actions carried out by the right-wing opposition during the attempted coup of 2008.
Bolivia has also been actively involved in trying to douse the Amazon forest fires. For the past month, the Chiquitania region in the department of Santa Cruz, which shares a border with Brazil and is part of the Amazon forest region, has been ablaze. The Bolivian government responded with urgency, deploying thousands to help fight the fires and it has received international cooperation from Argentina, Russia, France, Canada, and several international financial institutions. Morales himself participated in the efforts and suspended the MAS electoral campaign for a week in order to dedicate all efforts to quell the fires.
The continuity of the process of transformation in Bolivia, characterized by pro-people reforms, national economic development, anti-racist and pro-indigenous policies, and anti-imperialist and pro-Latin American integration policies, is dependent on the upcoming elections. This means that the impact of this election will be felt not only in Bolivia, but across the continent.
As explained by Tatuy TV, “Currently, Latin America is experiencing a neoliberal assault, with the proliferation of anti-people governments like those of Macri, Bolsonaro, Duque and Moreno that have put the political and social stability of Our America at risk. The plurinational project of Bolivia is a trench of resistance against this advance that serves as a wall of struggle and hope for the now oppressed people.”