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PostLuis Arce, Movimiento al Socialismo, Victorious in Bolivia (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 10/21/20 3:11 pm)
Most of the recent posts on the WAIS Forum, for understandable reasons, have been about the upcoming elections in the United States, but I am a little surprised that the October 18th election result in Bolivia has not been mentioned. I think it deserves to be briefly addressed because of the possible repercussions it could have on that country and the region.
Although the official results have not yet been reported, according to the exit poll tallies, the winner appears to be Luis Arce of the MAS, Movement to Socialism, the party of former President Evo Morales, which with 80% of the votes counted already seems to have more than 50% in his favor, against 34% for the opposition candidate. This has come as no surprise, because the polls predicted this result, which together with the victory of Alberto Fernández in Argentina, has reinvigorated the Latin American left, which sees a rebirth of its political ideologies on the continent.
Luis Arce (10/28/63) is an economist, accountant and academic who served as Minister of the Economy and, according to media reports, has been the architect of the supposed economic "successes" of the Morales regime. On the supposed success of the Morales government, we had referred to this issue in a relatively recent post. In addition, Arce turns out to be a much more moderate "left" candidate than Evo himself, and for those two reasons a large section of the middle class voted for him, influenced by his moderate profile as a successful economist, and surely because of the economic crisis in the country caused by the Covid pandemic.
There are several unknowns about his possible government. The first and most interesting for a large part of the population is whether he will pardon and allow the immediate return of Morales, now in exile and sought by Bolivian justice for various crimes. The second is about how he will manage his government. It could be more moderate and less radical than the Evo government, and according to Arce, it will be focused on trying to reduce the political polarization in the country and efforts to regain economic progress.
We will be attentive to how it evolves and the results of its management in the near future.
JE comments: I am grateful for a respite from the US electoral circus, Nacho! Who would have thought that Evo's MaS (Evo-Lite?) would return to grace so quickly, just a year after his ouster? Granted, Arce is a tree of a different leaf ("Arce" means maple tree in Spanish). He's internationally educated, wonky, and less polemical than Morales.
Didn't it seem just recently that the "New" Left was in disgrace in Latin America?
With Arce coming to power just as lithium is really heating up, he could be in a strong position.