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Sat Oct 12, 2019, 03:57 PM

Upcoming Elections Represent Testing Time for Bolivia's Socialist Government

OCTOBER 11, 2019
by W. T. WHITNEY

Bolivian President Evo Morales and Vice President Álvaro García Linera are presently campaigning for their fourth terms in office. In elections set for October 20, Morales, candidate of the Movement to Socialism Party (MAS), is polling 15 points ahead of ex-President Carlos Mesa of the Citizen Community Party. Seven other presidential candidates are competing. The odds favor a first round victory for Morales. The voting will also determine the make-up of Bolivia’s Congress.

Elected in 2005, Morales became Bolivia’s first indigenous president. Indigenous people make up some 50 percent of Bolivia’s population, according to varying estimates.

Bolivia’s socialist government has scored successes: improved lives for the previously marginalized, a stable and growing economy, and President Morales’s leadership role in defending the planetary environment. With U.S. assistance, right -wing opposition forces have battled the socialist government since its inception in 2006.

Between 2005 and 2018, according to analyst Javier Tocachier, extreme poverty dropped from 39 percent to15.2 percent, the minimum monthly salary rose from $54 to $305, mortality rates during the first five years of life fell 61 percent, the infant mortality rate fell 56 percent, and life expectancy at birth increased by nine years, The Gini index, which measures income inequalities, demonstrates the greatest equalization trend in Latin America. One hundred percent of older citizens receive pensions (the regional average is 59 percent). The government provides direct payments to all pregnant women, to all families with infants, and to families with school-age children – for the sake of school supplies and transportation.

More:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/10/11/upcoming-elections-represent-testing-time-for-bolivias-socialist-government/

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