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country tries to rescue democracy and voting sovereignty

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São Paulo – Bolivians will return to the polls this Sunday (18th) to choose President of the Republic, deputies and senators. The 2020 general election in Bolivia comes a year after the coup that led to Evo Morales’ resignation last October. In addition to Morales, an association between Armed Forces and paramilitary militias – under threat – also forced the resignations of Vice President Álvaro García Linera, the presidents of the Legislative Chamber, Victor Borda, and the Senate, Adriana Salvatierra.

The coup applied on the grounds that the past election was rigged – a version contested to this day – was intended to wipe the Movement for Socialism off the country’s political scene. MAS took over the country in January 2006, after Evo Morales’ first election. Without security conditions, MAS leaders had to give up the institutional dispute that would ensure them the presidency.

The Senate’s second deputy, Jeanine Añez, took over as acting president. His short passage was a disaster. The economy, which was doing well, collapsed. The country also succumbed to the covid-19 pandemic. And this Sunday, 7.3 million people able to vote – 41,000 of them living in Brazil – hope to find a way to social peace at the polls. This is if the will of the polls and the sovereignty of the popular vote are again respected. For the environment, still under the control of the forces that led the 2019 coup, is tense within hours in the new elections in Bolivia.

MAS favoritism

The polls show a big advantage for MAS candidate Luis Arce and his deputy, David Choquehuanca. With more than 40% of the voting intentions, the ticket gives you the chance to be the winner in the first round. For that, you need to receive 50% more of the total votes, or reach 40% and an advantage of 10 percentage points for the second place. The right-wing candidate will again be former President Carlos Mesa. It appears with about 30% in searches. If the withdrawals are confirmed, MAS can consolidate the victory this Sunday, without the need for a second round.

The second round, however, has a chance for the right to try to win the elections in Bolivia. The divided country is the target of a hybrid war and disinformation – partly led by the conservative press, partly by the spread of false news through social networks. Any similarity to what happens in Brazil is not a coincidence.

Bolivia under the MAS governments has enjoyed a long-term process of social inclusion and expanding access by the lower classes to rights – such as housing and education. The scenario bothers the Bolivian elite and the global liberal financial elite. And that is not the point. The country is one of the continent’s largest natural gas producers and has lithium-rich soil, one of the most coveted minerals in the technology industry.

Thus, the coup applied after the elections in Bolivia in 2019 – at a time of stability – was driven by economic interests directed, above all, against the sovereignty of the country of Evo Morales in relation to its natural resources.

International alert

On Friday (16), a delegation of Argentine parliamentarians who disembarked to act as observers was treated with hostility by military personnel from La Paz. After disembarking at Cochabamba airport, the group was even arrested when they arrived in the capital. The gesture was seen as an attempt to intimidate the coup forces to an international team committed to the smoothness of the electoral process. And it caused a protest from Argentine President Alberto Fernández.

The disadvantage in surveys of sectors that
deposed Evo Morales from power has led them to sabotage the credibility of
elections. The climate of distrust has led ex-presidents, ex-chancellors and
parliamentarians from several Latin American countries and to issue a note of
alert. In the document, the Organization of American States is responsible
(OAS) for the crisis in Bolivia, for having insisted on the argument of fraud in
2019 elections that led to the coup.

“The OAS has a great responsibility for the deterioration of Bolivian democracy,” says the note. The text recalls that the stance of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission in the October elections of last year served as the basis for the coup. It also notes that the October 2019 electoral process has been thoroughly examined by experts. Academics from various study centers and universities in the United States, the note says, identified that an alleged “change in trend” denounced by the OAS did not represent any irregularity. This is because the votes of geographic areas in favor of MAS were counted at the end and turned the result so far favorable to Evo.

Evidence

“Given the
evidence of its errors, the OAS should review what happened. However, far
to assume his grave mistakes, the organization’s secretary general, Luis Almagro,
appointed as head of the Electoral Observation Mission the same person who headed
its mission in 2019. This decision undermines confidence in transparency,
neutrality and technical nature of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission. And it constitutes
an open and irresponsible provocation by the secretary general ”, they affirm. The
ex-heads of state calls on the international community to “be aware that
elections in Bolivia must be held in a transparent manner and that their
results are respected ”.

Sign the
Cristina Kirchner (former president and vice president of Argentina), Luiz
Ignacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff (former presidents of Brazil), Ernesto
Samper (ex-president of Colombia and ex-secretary general of Unasur), Rafael
Correa (ex-president of Ecuador), Manuel Zelaya (ex-president of Honduras),
Salvador Sánchez Ceren (ex-president of El Salvador) Jorge Taiana (ex-minister
of Foreign Affairs of Argentina), Celso Amorim (former Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs of Brazil), Ricardo Patiño (ex-chancellor of Ecuador), Jorge Lara Castro
(former Chancellor of Paraguay), Hugo Martínez (Former Chancellor of El Salvador),
Guillaume Long (ex-chancellor of Ecuador).

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Economy

11 million Bolivians will have free vaccine against covid

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São Paulo – Former Bolivian President Evo Morales commented, this Wednesday (21st), the importance of youth in the electoral process that led Luis Arce, from the Movement to Socialism (MAS), to victory in the presidential election of October 18 . “Young people saw what it is like to live under the right and the dictatorship. And they reflected on how we were with our revolution and how we were under the coup, ”he said. Evo was overthrown by a coup in November 2019 that brought lawyer and TV presenter Jeanine Áñez to the presidency. With 90% of the official count completed. at 3:40 pm on this Wednesday (21st), Luis Arce approaches 55% of the valid votes. “What was at stake on October 18 was to go back to the past with the privatists or continue to the future with the nationalists,” said Evo Morales in an interview with Breno Altman (watch below).

Asked how the country will recover from the economic crisis aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, he replied that it will be with the presence of the state. The Bolivian guaranteed that Bolivia will normalize relations with China, Cuba, “some European countries” and Russia. “Those who once asked for market, market, market, now say State, State State, in the face of the pandemic.”

Vaccine against covid-19

“We are going to face the pandemic. When we have the vaccine, we will distribute it to all 11 million Bolivians for free. ” According to him, tackling the pandemic and the crisis will be done through joint work between the federal government, governors and mayors.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro not only boycotts health policies, but goes further. On Wednesday, he forbade the country to buy the Chinese vaccine CoronaVac, which would have 46 million doses through negotiations with the state of São Paulo announced the day before by the Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello. “I don’t give up my authority”, justified the Brazilian’s head of state.

South America

About neighbors in South America, Evo Morales highlighted the “profound ideological and programmatic difference” between MAS and the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, from Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and the former Argentine president Mauricio Macri. But it was diplomatic. “Whether it is left or right, we must work together respecting our differences. South Americans cannot be isolated, ”he said.

Morales acknowledged that he may have been mistaken as president. “I was wrong, but I am a human being,” he said. “Now we have experience in public management, and we are going to take Bolivia forward, united, organized.” He affirmed that the new government will make “a pact of union between the parties of the right, businessmen and workers, a great national agreement, to raise the economy”, adding: “The moment is to consolidate our process of change, democracy does not end on election day ”.

Evo has been in Argentina since December 2019, where he went into exile after the coup in the country. He said that the return to his country still has no forecast. In an interview with BBC Brazil, the president-elect was not positive about the possible participation of the ex-president in the new government. “If Evo Morales wants to help us, he will be very welcome. But that does not mean that Morales will be in the government. It will be my government, ”he said.

Check out Evo Morales interview with Breno Altman

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