Ahead of elections next year, Evo Morales will today launch his re-election bid; if successful, the left-wing leader will secure a fourth consecutive term.
After changing the constitution in 2013 to seek a third-term, Mr Morales attempted to do the same in 2016 but had a referendum rejected by 51% of the population. That was then overturned last November by Bolivia’s Constitutional Court to cap off two years of electoral drama.
Despite the unexpected referendum defeat, Morales—who secured re-election in 2014 with almost two-thirds of the vote—is widely expected to secure a fourth term, mostly due to a lack of popular opposition. Such a victory would allow Morales to continue with social reforms that have seen Bolivia become Latin America’s fastest growing economy.
With Morales a staunch supporter of Venezuela, his electoral victory would also prove a boon to Nicolas Maduro. Indeed, with Venezuela becoming increasingly isolated in Latin America, continued support from Morales’ Bolivia will be important in resisting regional attempts to derail Maduro’s regime.
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Alex is a senior analyst in the Current Developments team with a primary focus on the Americas. He also serves as an editor on The Daily Brief.