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Montevideo, December 8th 2021 - 22:30 UTC



Bolivia moves to “centre left” in municipal elections

Tuesday, December 7th 2004 - 20:00 UTC
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Bolivia's civic and Indian organizations participating for the first time in municipal elections, following a recent constitutional amendment were the big winners in last weekend's voting.

These new organizations in the political scene won contests in five of the nine provincial capitals, while traditional parties only managed the other four, indicating a "slight turn to the centre left" of the Bolivian political scenario.

President Carlos Mesa - who, as an independent, had no candidate inclination for any of Sunday's races - highlighted the leading role civic and Indian organizations will play in the future, especially in the constitutional assembly scheduled for next year. "To the extent they can consolidate, they could become venues for the discussion and strengthening of regional power on the path towards some form of autonomy" said Mr. Mesa in direct reference to strong pressures for greater self rule in several provinces and mainly from the Indian population.

Political analyst Jorge Lazarte focused on another important aspect of Sunday's elections: the rise of the Movement Towards Socialism, (MAS), headed by Indian coca-growers' leader Evo Morales, in contrast to the decline of all the other elected parties with representation in Congress.

With the exception of Sucre where a woman representing the Free Bolivia Movement won the race for City Hall, the rest of the so called established parties only managed to win in remote rural regions.

The conservative Revolutionary Nationalist Movement, MNR, was the most punished by voters mainly because of the collapse of the previous government that ended with the ousting following a popular uprising, of former elected President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada in October 2003.

Although vote counting remains slow the new political groupings, albeit it with former leaders of traditional parties captured five provincial capitals, including El Alto, Cochabamba, Oruro and Santa Cruz.

Preliminary results indicate that MAS mustered 16% of the vote, more than any other formal political party, in the nine provincial capitals

Nevertheless Mr. Lazarte described these achievements as a "partial victory", pointing out that MAS "could have taken (better) advantage of political disenchantment", but acknowledged that there seems to be "a turn to the centre-left" throughout Bolivia.

Categories: Mercosur.

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