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Bolivia holds regional elections


Bolivia holds regional elections

Photo: Juan Karita/AP Photo

Regional and municipal elections will be held today across Bolivia.

The elections are viewed as a test of support for former president Evo Morales’ Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), which held power from 2006 until the 2019 Bolivian political crisis and again following the 2020 elections.

Special attention has been drawn to the mayoral election of El Alto—a suburb of La Paz—where former Senate leader and ex-MAS member Eva Copa is running on a moderate Jallalla Party ticket against current MAS representative and Morales protégé Zacarias Maquera. The election is seen as an acid test for popular support for MAS. Polls indicate that Copa will likely win 90% of the vote to Maquera’s 8%.

If MAS loses the El Alto election, expect widespread losses across Bolivia. Support for the party has been wavering since the 2020 elections, with many turning towards the more moderate politics of Jallalla and similar parties after Morales’ successors pushed MAS policy significantly further to the left. Though MAS still holds a majority in both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, a major defeat in these elections is likely to foreshadow a popular shift away from the party during the next round of national elections.

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