News / Americas

Bolivia's President to Seek Third Term

Bolivia's President Evo Morales reads an official statement during a news conference in Sucre, July 8, 2014.
Bolivia's President Evo Morales reads an official statement during a news conference in Sucre, July 8, 2014.
Reuters

Bolivia's President Evo Morales will run for re-election in October to press on with his promise of expanding social reforms in the Andean nation, the vice president of the ruling party said on Monday.

The former coca farmer became Bolivia's first indigenous leader in 2006. Morales, 54, is lauded by supporters as a champion of the poor committed to easing the country's grinding poverty and standing up against the United States.

Historically one of South America's most unstable countries, Bolivia has enjoyed relative prosperity and calm since Morales came to power. Gross domestic product per capita doubled between 2005 and 2011.

"Our president and vice president are confirmed as candidates for re-election," Concepcion Ortiz, vice president of the ruling Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), said. "Social organizations across the country have said that he has to go for re-election."

Morales critics accuse the leftist politician of defying the constitution, which allows a president two consecutive terms in office. Morales was first elected in 2006 and then again in 2009. The constitutional term limit was adopted in 2009.

Last year the Supreme Court decreed his 2006-09 period in office should not be counted as a first term as it preceded the adoption of the constitution.

The opposition called the ruling unacceptable.

Morales is the clear front-runner in the Oct. 12 vote, polling at about 44 percent. His nearest rival, cement tycoon Samuel Doria Medina, trails by almost 30 points.

To win the election, a candidate needs to win an absolute majority or at least 40 percent with a winning margin of more 10 percentage points or more over the second-place candidate.

Bolivia is one of Latin America's poorest countries. However the vote comes a year after the roughly $30 billion economy grew 6.5 percent, its quickest pace in nearly 30 years, boosted by high prices for natural gas sold to Argentina and Brazil.

Growth will slow to a 5.7 percent this year, according to government estimates in December.

Under Morales, Bolivia has nationalized key industries, including the hydrocarbon and utility sectors. But he has been willing to guarantee legal assurances for foreign miners.

A new government program, "United we live well", pledges to consolidate the achievements of eight years in office, and continue political, economic and social reforms.

Morales is a harsh critic of the United States and staunch ally of Venezuela and Cuba.

In typically fiery rhetoric, Morales accused Washington and its European allies of "state terrorism" designed to intimidate after several European nations banned his jet from their airspace believing U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden was onboard.

Bolivia's opposition claims it is the victim of persistent political harassment by the government and that several prominent opponents of Morales have been forced into exile.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Raul Castro Steps Out of Brother's Shadow With US Deal

Cuban president scores diplomatic triumph, surge in support with this week's deal that ends decades of hostility with United States
More

US Report: Immigration Officials' Apprehensions Rose in 2014

Apprehensions of Mexicans fall 14 percent; those of individuals from other countries, predominantly in Central America, rise 68 percent
More

Strife, Mutual Interests Mark Cuba-US Ties

Island nation was once a vacation destination for Americans; over years, many Cubans sought refuge across the Florida Straits
More

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change
More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings
More

Cubans Imagine New, More Prosperous Life Without an Old Foe

News of the historic shift in US-Cuban relations echoed quickly through the Spanish colonial plazas of Old Havana this week
More