Bolivia: Presidential Merry-Go-Round

It is a tale of road-blocks, coca farmers, gas contracts and a rapid succession of presidents. From La Paz in the high Andes to the lowlands of the east, they are about to try to agree on a new leader. The election result might not go down well internationally, and even within Bolivia an unusual voting system could produce more tension.

The World Today
4 minute READ

John Crabtree

Research Associate, Centre for Latin American Studies, University of Oxford

In a hotly contested election, dividing Bolivians along ideological, ethnic and social lines, a new president, vice- president, Senate and Chamber of Deputies will be chosen on December 18.

Polling had to be brought forward by two years because of widespread rioting last June which ended with the resignation of then president, Carlos Mesa. Mesa was replaced temporarily by the head of the Supreme Court, Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé, who made it clear that he would stand down in January when a newly elected president would take office. Rodríguez Veltzé is Bolivia’s fifth president in as many years.

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