Sunday, December 18, 2016

Evo Morales Wants More Terms

The MAS party in Bolivia has nominated Evo Morales for a fourth term for the 2019 presidential elections, and he has accepted.

You might ask how this is possible given that he lost a referendum about whether he should be allowed to run again. The answer is that you can mess with the constitution. Apparently one suggested route is the transparently ridiculous notion of simply resigning before the third term is over and proclaim that somehow it shouldn't be counted as the third.

This is extremely early to announce a candidacy  and I suppose could be seen either as a trial balloon or just paving the way early for constitutional chicanery. Either way there is plenty of time to figure out a good way to back off and safe face.

It should go without saying that these sorts of machinations damage democracy. Bolivians announced they did not want presidents to have more terms, and the president should not ignore that. Further, no president should ever feel indispensable, which inevitably leads to abuse of power. Democracy needs alternation of power. Both Michelle Bachelet and Cristina Fernández are examples of this. Instead, too often one party feels it must maintain its grip on power no matter what.


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