- Title: A look at Morales' main rivals as Bolivia election draws near
- Date: 17th October 2019
- Summary: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) (16:9) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** GENERAL OF FORMER BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT GONZALO SANCHEZ DE LOZADA AND CARLOS MESA WHEN HE WAS PART OF THE MNR (NATIONAL REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT) SANCHEZ DE LOZADA AND MESA DURING TAKING OF POWER AT NATIONAL CONGRESS PEOPLE IN CONGRESS INCLUDING CURRENT PRESIDENT, EVO MORALES LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE - 2003) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TROOPS FIRING TEAR GAS AT HOUSES PEOPLE NEXT TO VICTIM, THEN BEING DISPERSED BY TEAR GAS HELICOPTER FLYING OVERHEAD PEOPLE PROTESTING AGAINST GOVERNMENT VARIOUS OF MESA ARRIVING, BEING GREETED BY SUPPORTERS GENERAL OF PEOPLE GATHERED (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BOLIVIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, CARLOS MESA, SAYING: "What are my commitments with the people of Bolivia: a binding referendum so that Bolivia, the Bolivians, say whether or not they want to sell our gas, it is you who are going to have the last word, that is my commitment." MESA AS PRESIDENT AT GOVERNMENT PALACE MESA'S CABINET VARIOUS OF PEOPLE DEMANDING HYDROCARBONS LAW RIOT POLICEMEN FIRING TEAR GAS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BOLIVIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE CARLOS MESA, SAYING: "I have decided to present to the country, to present for the consideration of the country, to the consideration of you the citizens of Bolivia as the constitution sends me through the national congress my resignation to the position of constitutional president of Bolivia." PEOPLE OUTSIDE GOVERNMENT PALACE LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE - 2018) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF GOVERNMENT PALACE INTERIOR MESA WALKING DOWN STEPS WITH BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT EVO MORALES VARIOUS OF GROUP LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE - SEPTEMBER 26, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BOLIVIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, OSCAR ORTIZ, FROM 'BOLIVIA SAYS NO' PARTY CAMPAIGNING ORTIZ GREETING SUPPORTER SUPPORTER TAKING PICTURES
- Embargoed: 31st October 2019 20:32
- Keywords: Bolivia elections candidates Mesa Morales Ortiz
- Location: LA PAZ & SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA
- City: LA PAZ & SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA007B1HLB2F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Bolivian opposition candidates are closing in on President Evo Morales in polls ahead of a general election this weekend, with Latin America's longest continuous standing leader possibly being edged out in a second round run-off.
However, the margin over the second place candidate, Carlos Mesa a business-friendly former president, would be sufficiently narrow to warrant a second round head-to-head. Mesa, who leads the Citizen Community alliance, is predicted to get around 27% of the first-round vote.
Presidential candidates in Bolivia need to get above 40% of the vote in the first round and have a 10-point lead over the second place rival in order to avoid a run-off. The winner will assume office in January for a five-year period.
The poll showed both candidates have consolidated support since September, but Mesa has closed the gap on Morales, whose bid for a fourth consecutive term in defiance of term limits has angered some voters in the country.
The poll indicated that in a second round, Mesa - who had a short-lived stint previously as president - could even win by 35.8% of the vote to 35.5% for Morales, who has overseen a period of steady growth in the country.
In 2005, Mesa resigned after 17 months in office as protests spread through the country and threatened the important oil and gas sector.
At the time, he said authorities would not be able to control a nationwide protest to force changes in rules governing Bolivia's vast natural gas resources.
That protest was organised by Morales' Movement to Socialism or MAS.
Third in the polls is senator Oscar Ortiz, who lacks a party, but who is presenting himself with the support of traditional politicians from the east of the country under the acronym "Bolivia Says No."
He is trying to capitalise his campaign on the rejection of Morales's indefinite stay in power.
(Production: Santiago Limachi, Sergio Limachi, Monica Machicao, Geraldine Downer)
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
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