Reelection Hits Headlines Again in Bolivia
Por Carmen Esquivel Sarria
La Paz, Feb 27 (Prensa Latina) The reelection of President Evo Morales has hit headlines in Bolivia today, after demonstrations on the first anniversary of the constitutional referendum on February 21.
Mass demonstrations were held in La Paz and other major cities like Santa Cruz, El Alto, Cochabamba, Oruro, Potosi and Tarija to ratify the people's support for the president's candidacy in the 2019 election.
The demonstrations, organized by social movements, were also aimed at condemning the media war that has influenced the results of the results of the referendum on February 21, a day that was christened Day of Lie.
The opposition, in turn, also took the opportunity to call rallies through social networks, as part of a campaign under the hashtag 'Bolivia Dijo No' (Bolivia Said NO).
On February 21, 2016, Bolivians went to the polls to vote on a modification to the Constitution that would allow the president and the vice president to be reelected for two terms in a row.
Despite the historic support for the Morales administration, based on the achievements made by his government, the No option defeated the Yes by a close margin (51-49).
Several analysts and political leaders attributed that result to the dirty war orchestrated by the right wing and the U.S. Embassy to damage the center of gravity of the process of changes: President Morales.
Before the consultation, the U.S. journalist and undercover agent Carlos Valverde accused the president of traffic of influences in favor of an ex romantic partner, Gabriela Zapata, a former commercial agent with CAMC Engineering Co., and assured that they had had a child.
Since the campaign against the president was launched on February 3 until May 16, when Valverde himself admitted on his Twitter account that the son of Zapata and Morales did not exist, the government was under the siege of journalistic fraud.
In our opinion, it was a tainted referendum, Interior Minister Carlos Romero said on Sunday's program 'El Pueblo Es Noticia' (The People Are News).
He recalled that as the governing Movement to Socialism (MAS) participated in the referendum with an agenda on development by 2025, the right wing restricted the debate to the Zapata Case.
It was a setup that involved analysts, journalists, opposition politicians and lawyers who invented alleged ties between Zapata and the president. They lied about the existence of their son and they even killed the boy with those purposes.
Everything was promoted from the United States, therefore the active participation of CNN and the journalist Fernando del Rincon, who traveled to Bolivia to shoot a report on the boy and create a nationwide and worldwide scandal to tarnish the president's image, credibility and ethics, Romero stressed.
One year after those events and after all lies were discovered, the minister thinks that there is a revitalization and recuperation of the mobilizing capacity of social organizations.
Proof of that was the celebration, on December 18, of the Day of the Democratic and Cultural Revolution, and the 11th anniversary of the Plurinational State on December 22.
Regarding the mobilizations on February 21, Romero noted that the marches demonstrated the people's support for President Evo and the process of change.
They also showed the urban middle-class' strong support, as the largest rallies took place in the department capitals.
The dismantling of this campaign also led MAS to redefine the issue of reelection during a congress held in December in the municipality of Montero, in Santa Cruz.
The MAS congress approved four paths to allow the president to be reelected in the 2019 election.
The first of them consists of a reform of Article 168 of the Constitution, approved by the Plurinational Legislative Assembly and supported by at least 20 percent of voters. Another option is to modify that article through a law adopted in Parliament by two-thirds of votes.
There is also the possibility that the head of State resigns six months before the end of his term, which will conclude on January 22, 2020, and runs for the presidency.
The fourth path is to submit his candidacy through the interpretation of the so-called Law of Laws by the Constitutional Court.
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