Yesterday, Bolivians voted wether to keep Evo and the provincial governors in power. I haven’t read up on all the issues surrounding Bolivia at the moment, but the following articles provide some insight. The election confirms his mandate and shows that, at the least, his party gets (forces?) his supporters to show up at polling stations. You think the US is polarized between blue and red states, Bolivia is even more divided than before. They’re going to keep debating wether there can still be a unified Bolivia as we know it.
None of this gets to the trickier issues of how Morales needs to deal with regional leaders, and a third of the population that does stand squarely against him. That analysis I’ll leave to later. But these statistics do make it clear that Morales has a huge national majority at his side, and one that stretches across a far wider map than many critics would care to admit.
But his chief antagonists in the rebellious, resource-rich crescent of lowland states known as the “half moon” also savored their triumph. All four opposition governors in the region easily survived the plebiscite in an explicit endorsement of their march toward regional autonomy — a move that Morales decries as a treasonous splitting of the nation.
At issue is who will control the country’s huge natural gas reserves in the east _ the reserves are the second largest in Latin America _ and who will decide the fate of large tracts of farmland in the east that Morales wants to seize and give to indigenous supporters.
Morales had proposed Sunday’s recall in a bold gamble to topple governors who have frustrated his bid to redress historical inequities in favor of Bolivia’s long-suppressed indigenous majority and extend his time in office.