Bolivia begins its path for the recovery of democracy

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Voting takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in more than 5,000 schools in Bolivia. The candidate who goes first in the polls, Luis Arce Catacora, from MAS, hopes to win Carlos Mesa, from Comunidad Ciudadana, in the first round.

In Bolivia, the voting for president, vice president and members of the Legislative Assembly began calmly, following the biosafety regulations established by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE): wear a chinstrap and your own pen. At the seat of the Court, at seven in the morning, the ceremony that marked the start of the elections was held. With the presence of a military band that occupied half the property, international observers and officials from the government of Jeanine Áñez, the day began when the country once again elected its highest authorities by vote.
Guillermo Snopek, Argentina’s national senator, is part of the delegation that was caught by the Bolivian police at the El Alto international airport, suffered attacks and even the attempted deportation of deputy Federico Fagioli. The problem with this legislator is that he had been in the country in November 2019, after the coup against former President Evo Morales, as part of an investigative commission. Finally, at the request of the Organization of American States (OAS), everyone was allowed entry.

At the meeting at the TSE, Argentine legislators they wore their credentials issued by the election regulator.

“We are in the Plurinational State of Bolivia at the invitation of the TSE and the president of the Chamber of Senators, Evo Copa (of the Movement for Socialism), to be able to accompany this process and be able to make visible the will of the Bolivian people. I think the amphoras go to mark the result, “he told Sputnik.

At the TSE headquarters there was also president Áñez. “I invite all Bolivians to go to the polls. We have the right to choose the authorities that will govern us,” he told the press gathered there.

“Security is absolutely guaranteed. The National Police, the Armed Forces, in coordination with the Ministry of Government, take to the streets to protect security, to work for the Bolivian people, for no party,” remarked Áñez, who was also candidate for the presidency until September 17, when she retired because she did not measure more than 15 points in the polls.

A La Paz day

In La Paz it is a typical day for this time of year: in one part of the city it is sunny, in another it is slightly cloudy and in another it rains with thunder. The country dawned as it had nightfall, with intense rounds of military and policemen controlling that the good government order is respected. The presence of the Armed Forces in the streets and in the voting centers gives a special flavor to this election day, 11 months after the overthrow of former President Evo Morales.
After the elections of October 20, 2019, a failure in the Electoral Body’s Transmission of Preliminary Results (TREP) system raised suspicions in the Morales opposition, whom they accused of having committed fraud. This alleged crime has not yet been proven by Justice. But citizen protests began, which ended in the coup of November 10, 2019. Currently, the former president resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In recent days, several private media announced that Morales was in Salvador Mazza, Salta province of Argentina, bordering the Bolivian city of Yacuiba, in southern Bolivia. According to these publications, he was waiting for Monday to return to his country.

“To the tranquility of many who are in the networks, Evo is in Buenos Aires. The day before yesterday we have talked to finalize details. We are confident that we will do well,” said MAS presidential candidate, Luis Arce Catacora, in his bunker of campaign in the La Paz neighborhood of Sopocachi.

© Photo: Sebastián Ochoa

Luis Arce, MAS candidate for the Presidency of Bolivia, casts his vote

He received the press after voting at the Cervantes school, in the Miraflores neighborhood. There, along with a swarm of journalists and dozens of militants who chanted his nickname: “Lucho, Lucho …” he cast his vote. Some people also insulted, but the majority were his followers, who sang in the face of blasphemous opponents that the MAS was going to win in the first round.

© Sputnik / Sebastián Ochoa

Luis Arce, MAS candidate for the Presidency of Bolivia, receives the press after voting in the presidential elections

Military

Arce questioned the presence of military in the streets, as well as in voting centers. “From a very young age I have gone to electoral processes and I have always seen the Police. It seems important to me that the Police be present, but the Armed Forces is an excess. It was not necessary. ? With the Police is more than enough, “he considered.

“Bolivians are peaceful, we are calm. The MAS has bet on a democratic exit, journalists know that we have pushed for elections, while the government has been postponing, postponing, postponing,” commented the MAS presidential candidate, who It ranks first in the polls, with 42%.

“For us it is rather a democratic party. We are recovering democracy. It is a very important sign for the Bolivian people. I feel very happy that we have done everything now,” he said.

And he highlighted the democratic vocation of his party: “We have never taken the Government by arms, with blood, with deaths. We have always taken the Government by democratic means, with a vote. We are the ones who, clearly, are committed to exercise the right and respect the popular will.
Who is second in the polls, Carlos Mesa (president between 2003 and 2005), voted in the Mallasilla area, in the department of La Paz. The Citizen Community candidate would have a 33% intention to vote.
There are other presidential candidates who have no chance of reaching the Casa Grande del Pueblo. They are the businessman from Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camacho, with a 10.7% vote intention; Chi Hyung Chung, with 2.4%; and Feliciano Mamani, with 0.4%.

From 8 to 12:30, those who have the last number of their identity card voted. From 12:30 to 17 hours, who are odd-numbered.

Today at 8 p.m. the first results will be known. If Arce does not take a 10-point lead from Mesa, we would have to go to a second round, which would take place on November 29.

Until 5:00 p.m. 7,332,925 Bolivians and Bolivians they are authorized to vote in more than 5,000 schools. It will also vote in 30 other countries, such as Argentina, Spain, Brazil and the United States. They will have to elect President, Vice President, 36 senators and 130 deputies.

The suspension of Direpre

On the night of Saturday, October 17, with 12 hours to go before the start of the elections, the TSE announced the suspension of the Preliminary Results Dissemination system (Direpre), the same as Morales’ failed TREP, but under another name.
The committee of observers and the political parties CC and Creemos, from Camacho, issued statements saying that they agreed with the TSE measure. But the MAS finds it strange.

“They are the ones who decide how the elections are conducted, but it seems very strange to us. Direpre should be ready from May, but on the last day they tell us that it will not work. That makes us susceptible,” Arce said.

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