The Bolivian election results are back, and Luis Arce Catacora, the leader of the socialist el MAS party, will be the president of Bolivia until 2025. Evo Morales, the past president, changed the constitution to allow the president to serve 5-year terms. Morales had already served the allotted two terms, and wanted to run again. The people of Bolivia did not want this to happen, so they shut down the country for 21 days. Andrea Soruco, a Bolivian citizen said that “for 21 days there was no school and people weren’t working. The people of Bolivia were in the streets fighting for Evo Morales to resign because we all know he is so corrupt and there is no hope for democracy with him in power.” Morales and his vice president fled the country after the 21-day shut down. Soruco says that “We were afraid that if he was going to be president again we were going to end up like Cuba or Venezuela. We didn’t want a dictatorship.” Jeanine Anez took over after Evo Morales fled and will be the president until the transition on Nov. 15, making Anez the first female Bolivian president.
Unlike here, in Bolivia there are more than two main political parties in their elections. This year there were three main parties. Luis Arce Catacora is associated with the el MAS party, known for their socialist views and ties to Evo Morales. Luis Arce Catacora worked under Morales when he was in power. Luis Fernando Camacho is affiliated with the Creemos political party, and was the one that went to the capitol to pressure Morales to step down during the 21-day shutdown. Soruco says that “A lot of Bolivians really liked him due to the fact that he helped us during the shut down and pressured Evo Morales to step down.”
The final main party from this election was Carlos Mesa, who is affiliated with the Comunidad Ciudadana party. Jeanine Anez was also in the running for the election, but dropped out of the election to eliminate the number of parties that divided the votes in opposition to MAS. Soruco says that “Jeanine Anez dropping out of the election was smart, because she knew that there were too many parties that would divide votes, hindering the possibilities of taking down el MAS”. The people of Bolivia were waiting for another party to drop out as well but it never happened. “We thought that Luis Fernando Camacho was going to do the same and drop out but he never did,” Soruco says, “It would be better if we could have one candidate going against el MAS so we can all vote against Luis Arce Catacora.”
Soruco says that Bolivians strongly believe that there was fraud in this election, as well as the previous election. Soruco says that “Last time we voted there was fraud. We voted Evo Morales out and we won, but they burned our votes and threw the ballots into the streets. This year we were hoping for no fraud, but we can never be sure or trust el MAS, they always want to win.” Soruco says that shortly after the voting places in Bolivia close, the people should be able to see a preliminary, or an estimate of who is going to win, but this year the data was not available to the people until early into the morning. “We didn’t get to see anything until one in the morning, which made us think there was fraud,” Soruco says, “We couldn’t connect to the webpage where the information was and things wouldn’t load, which leads us to believe there was tampering going on.”
Soruco also adds that videos have been leaked of votes being thrown, but says that the people do not have any solid evidence that there was fraud. The results were not determined until a few days later, which was also suspicious to the people. It was determined that Luis Arce Catacora had won the vote. Soruco says that the people feel as if all the fighting that had been done during the 21-day shutdown didn’t work and that the Bolivian’s votes were divided. There will be a two-day shutdown over the course of Oct. 24 and 25 in strike against the results of the election. However, international observers identified no fraud in the election. Soruco says that “I don’t think that America intervening would have done anything, especially with the current administration.” While el MAS still won the election, the people are hopeful that they will choose to separate from Evo Morales.