- Title: Candidate Oscar Ortiz casts ballot in Bolivia vote
- Date: 20th October 2019
- Summary: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (OCTOBER 20, 2019) (REUTERS) ELECTORAL WORKER HOLDING UP BLACK BALLOT WOMAN DROPPING HER BALLOT INTO BOX ELECTORAL WORKERS CHECKING DOCUMENTS MAN DROPPING BALLOT INTO BOX ELECTORAL WORKER FLIPPING THROUGH VOTERS LIST VARIOUS OF VOTERS DROPPING THEIR BALLOTS INTO THE BOXES GENERAL VIEW OF ELECTORAL WORKER HOLDING UP BLANK BALLOT ELECTORAL WORKERS LOOKING THROUGH LIST OF VOTERS
- Embargoed: 3rd November 2019 17:23
- Keywords: Bolivia election voting candidate Oscar Ortiz
- Location: SANTA CRUZ AND LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- City: SANTA CRUZ AND LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA002B1WJAKN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Third place presidential candidate in Bolivia's election, Senator Carlos Ortiz, cast his ballot on Sunday (October 20) in the eastern city of Santa Cruz.
Ortiz is not part of any party but is presenting himself with the support of traditional politicians under the acronym "Bolivia Says No." He is trying to capitalise his campaign on the rejection of Morales's indefinite stay in power.
Bolivians voted in an election to decide whether to extend the rule of President Evo Morales to nearly two decades or oust the great survivor of South America's "pink tide" of leftist leaders.
Morales, widely known as just "Evo," is the favourite to win, but it is set to be his toughest race yet since sweeping to power as Bolivia's first indigenous president in 2006. Recent opinion polls show he could win with his weakest ever mandate and may face a risky second round run-off.
In his favour, Morales - a former union leader for coca growers - has overseen a long stretch of political and economic stability for Bolivia, a landlocked country of 11 million people that is the continent's poorest. But support for him has slipped amid slowing economic growth and concerns about government corruption and anti-democratic practices.
Others worry about his extended stay in power. Morales is running in defiance of term limits and despite a 2016 referendum in which Bolivians voted against him being allowed to seek a fourth consecutive term. A local court ruled in his favour to allow him to run anyway. As he did in the 2014 election, he has promised to retire after the five-year term is over.
Morales needs 40% of ballots and a 10-point lead to win outright on Sunday. Polls open at 8am (1200 GMT) and close eight hours later. The next president will govern from 2020-2025.
Despite growing disenchantment with Morales, support for the opposition will be divided among eight candidates, all of whom trail him by double digits in a recent poll by Viaciencia.
The leading opposition candidate, Carlos Mesa, a former president who resigned in 2005, has campaigned on a platform of saving Bolivia's democracy from Morales, whom he has portrayed as a power-hungry autocrat.
Morales, whose campaign slogan is "Secure Future," has fanned fears that Mesa would seek support from the International Monetary Fund, and warned about recent unrest in Ecuador and Argentina over unpopular loan deals with the IMF.
(Production: Monica Machicao, Santiago Limachi)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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