Weekly Report - 22 October 2020 (WR-20-42)

Bolivia’s MAS roars back with thumping election victory

Bolivia’s left-wing Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) will shortly be back in power after a hiatus of one year. Luis Arce, who served as economy minister for the majority of the long tenure of Evo Morales (2006-2019), won an emphatic victory in the first round of delayed presidential elections on 18 October. The decisive nature of Arce’s win, and the swift congratulations of interim president Jeanine Áñez and concession by his main rival Carlos Mesa, who finished a distant second, helped to dispel fears of violent protests, although the protracted count by the supreme electoral tribunal (TSE), still ongoing as we go to press, is stoking some tensions, with sporadic protests breaking out in some of the country’s main cities. Arce has promised to restore the model of government of Morales but with different actors and a different tone; less confrontational and more conciliatory.

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