Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Can Evo Let Go?

Really interesting article in Americas Quarterly about discontent among Evo Morales supporters about his insistence on staying in office. Bolivians are grateful to how he has changed the country but that is not the same as wanting him in power forever.

Yet despite these achievements, many in El Alto are turning against the president — specifically, his efforts to seek an unprecedented fourth term in office. In February, El Alto residents joined in protests demanding that Morales respect a 2016 referendum in which voters rejected changing the constitution to do away with term limits. Many carried signs declaring “No means no” and “Respect my vote.”

Morales has achieved a lot. He could well be the most successful president in the country's unstable history. He has empowered the indigenous population, stabilized the economy with prudent policies, and reduced inequality.

At this point his legacy hinges on whether he can stomach standing down democratically or whether he clings to power. Unfortunately, the examples in Colombia and Ecuador may give him pause. In both cases, presidents gave up on the possibility of staying in office but anointed a successor who presumably would walk in their footsteps. That did not happen in either case, where the new presidents went aggressively in the opposite direction, fostering deep, personal, and Twitterized splits.

Ultimately, though, Evo Morales is the main obstacle to his own legacy. Gradually increasing authoritarianism to keep yourself in power does not tend to work out well. You alienate your own supporters and undermine your own cause. Presidents cannot stand the idea of having someone from the other side of the ideological spectrum taking over through an election, but that's just how democracy work.s


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP