- Title: Bolivia readies for Sunday's presidential election
- Date: 19th October 2019
- Summary: ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RESIDENT, GABRIEL PONCE, SAYING: "I trust because many international observers and organisations will be present on Sunday. Also, to reiterate, there have been over the past several years, different mechanisms to improve the electoral process which suggests that we have a reliable electoral process." LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (OCTOBER 16, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR ELECTORAL SUPREME COURT (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) WILLIAMS KALIMAN ROMERO, COMMANDER OF THE ARMED FORCES, SAYING: "After having prepared this agreement, we have jointly prepared the operations plan called Elections 2019. With respect to the Armed Forces, we are moving a total of 11,171 men including soldiers and instructor personnel throughout Bolivia to be present in 1,623 polling stations and in the control of 12,163 voting tables." GENERAL OF ELECTORAL COURT EXTERIOR OF ELECTORAL COURT VARIOUS OF INTERNATIONAL ELECTORAL OBSERVERS MEETING WITH ELECTORAL OFFICIALS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MANUEL GONZALES, HEAD OF OAS OBSERVERS IN BOLIVIA, SAYING: "We are completely available, with the greatest openness to always soak up firsthand what is happening in what is the essence of our work, which is to observe and collaborate for a reliable and transparent process, to acquire more knowledge and experiences, not only in this country. " OAS VEHICLE LEAVING VARIOUS, BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT EVO MORALES MEETING WITH OAS OBSERVERS (MUTE)
- Embargoed: 2nd November 2019 16:21
- Keywords: Bolivia election preps Morales Sunday
- Location: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- City: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA003B1RI43R
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Bolivia will go to the polls on Sunday (October 20) in an era-defining vote either to cement Evo Morales in power for a controversial fourth term or to dislodge the iconic left-wing leader, who has ruled the land-locked South American country for nearly 14 years.
Bolivian leader Evo Morales came to power in 2006 with a pledge to champion marginalized indigenous groups including his own important Andean tribe the Aymara, which helped carry him to the presidency.
Morales, widely known simply as "Evo," has helped lift many out of poverty since he came to office, and even changed the country's name to the Plurinational State of Bolivia to honour its diverse ethnic groups long treated as second-class citizens.
But the left-leaning former coca farmer faces a rising tide of dissatisfaction, even among the indigenous groups he has most visibly supported, as he bids for an unprecedented and contentious fourth term in elections on Sunday.
Most polls show his main rival, Carlos Mesa, closing the gap on Morales, posing the fiercest electoral challenge yet to Latin America's longest continuous standing leader.
Morales, often seen clad in colourfully embroidered alpaca wool suits, is counting on the backing of Bolivia's more than 4 million indigenous people as he looks to extend his presidency to a potential 19 years - in defiance of term limits and a local referendum in 2016 that voted against him running.
However, many of the Aymara are split over Morales. Allegations of cronyism and lavish projects - including a $34 million, 28-floor presidential palace in La Paz - have created a sense of unease about him losing touch with the working people.
One recent issue that has hurt Morales has been forest fires that raged through the farm-belt region of Santa Cruz. Morales closed his election campaign out there on Tuesday, and violent clashes broke out between protesters and police.
(Production: Monica Machicao, Santiago Limachi, Sergio Limachi)
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