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Monday, October 5, 2009

Bolivia's election campaign underway

After months of posturing and alliance-building, the national election campaign for president and the two houses of Congress gets underway today. Separate polling results show overwhelming popular support for Evo Morales, who will almost certainly be re-elected to another term as president. His ruling Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) party also will, according to the polls, win a strong majority in Congress, although it's unclear whether it will obtain the 2/3's majority it requires to reform the Constitution. Polls show Evo is leading widely in all but the three strongest opposition areas, Santa Cruz, Pando and Beni. The second- and third-place candidates, Manfred Reyes Villa and Samuel Doria Medina, are far behind in all polls, and have been for weeks.
Meanwhile, the new "biometric" computerized electoral registration system has signed up 4.1 million voters, more than those that voted in the January 2009 national election on the constitutional referendum. That includes more than 40,000 migrants living outside of Bolivia.
The campaign will last one month and the vote will be held on Sunday, Dec. 6.

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