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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1999 ... February 14, 2020
Bolivia: An Election in the Midst of an Ongoing 
Vijay Prashad
On May 3, 2020, the Bolivian people will go to the polls once more. They return 
there because President Evo Morales had been overthrown in a coup in November 
2019. Morales had just won a presidential election in October for a term that 
would have begun in January 2020. Based on a preliminary investigation by the 
Organization of American States (OAS) that claimed that there was fraud in the 
election, Morales was prematurely removed from office; the term for his 2014 
presidential election victory did not end until January. Yet, he was told by 
the military to leave office. An interim president -- Jeanine Áñez -- appointed 
herself. She said she was taking this office only on an interim basis and would 
not run for election when Bolivia held another election. She is a candidate for 
the May 3 election.

Meanwhile, Morales has been in exile in Argentina. His party -- the Movement 
for Socialism (MAS) -- has candidates for the presidency and the vice 
presidency, but their party cadres and followers are facing a difficult time 
making their case to the people. Their radio stations have been blocked, their 
leaders arrested or exiled (or sitting in foreign embassies waiting for 
asylum), their cadre beaten up and intimidated.

The United Nations secretary-general’s personal envoy Jean Arnault released a 
statement on February 3 that expressed caution about the elections. The 
situation in Bolivia, Arnault said, is "characterized by an exacerbated 
polarization and mixed feelings of hope, but also of uncertainty, restlessness 
and resentment after the serious political and social crisis of last year." 
This careful language of the UN needs to be looked at closely. When Arnault 
says there is "exacerbated polarization," he means that the situation is 
extremely tense. When he asks that the interim government "outlaw hate speech 
and direct or indirect incitement to violence or discrimination," he means that 
the government and its far-right followers need to be very careful about what 
they say and how much violence they use in this election.
Continue reading<https://socialistproject.ca/?p=2699#more>

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