Bolivians elect a new president

Bolivians elect a new president

The most promising candidates Arce (left) and Mesa

© © 2020 AFP

The Bolivians voted on the future president of the country on Sunday.

The Bolivians voted on the future president of the country on Sunday. Less than a year after the resignation of head of state Evo Morales, his protégé Luis Arce has a good chance of receiving the most votes. The leftist candidate of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) was in polls well ahead of his main rival, the conservative ex-president Carlos Mesa. The 7.3 million eligible voters will determine the two chambers of the Congress, in which the MAS currently has the majority, in parallel to the presidential election.

Morales had resigned after a re-election overshadowed by allegations of manipulation in the face of mass protests and under pressure from the army. He was the first indigenous president of Latin America to rule Bolivia for 13 years. He now lives in exile in Argentina. On Sunday he called for “everyone to respect the election results”. Bolivia is currently led by a transitional government under the conservative Jeanine Áñez.

A total of six candidates ran for the presidency. According to the poll, the 57-year-old Arce should get the most votes, but would have to go to a runoff election scheduled for November 29th. In a second round, 67-year-old Mesa could prevail against former finance and economics minister Arce with the support of other candidates.

Because of the corona pandemic, the polls had already been postponed twice. Long queues formed in front of the polling stations. In Bolivia, voting is compulsory for people up to the age of 60.

AFP

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