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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Mexico Police Investigate Police Link in Shooting Deaths of US Siblings

Deaths of Erica Alvarado Rivera, her brothers and boyfriend as they traveled to visit family is third high-profile case in recent months that links security forces to extrajudicial killings
More

Lawmaker Blasts US Participation in Cuba Ebola Meeting

Mario Diaz-Balart said ALBA, which chaired the meeting, 'was created solely to oppose US interests' and US participation was 'ludicrous'
More

US Coast Guard Rescues 33 Cubans at Sea

Because the overloaded boat did not make landfall, those rescued will be returned to Cuba
More

Western Experts Increasingly Fear Lone Wolf Terror Attacks

Slaying and assault on Canada's parliament building was followed by a hatchet attack on two New York City policemen
More

Search Underway at New Site in Mexico Missing Students Case

This week marked one month since the students went missing after clashing with police in mysterious circumstances
More

Public Transport in Latin America, Asia Most Dangerous for Women

Thousands of women and gender experts were questioned to create the listing
More