by: Miguel Quiroz
In that sense, the recent results could leave many questions related to the MAS as a political party. The rightwing says that this is the beginning of the political erosion of the government, but in my perspective, I think that is most associated as a political-electoral mismanagementof MAS, without clear policies to choose their leaders, policies that are important at this moment of changes in order to face the pluralism that, where the challenges pluralism that entails the autonomy process.
Sunday April 4 saw regional and local elections across Bolivia. These were the first local elections held under the new Political Constitution of the State (NCPE), with new provisions fordifferent forms of autonomies. These were the first elections in which mayors were directly elected, the first in which regional Legislative Assemblies were elected. Moreover, indigenous peoples were able to elect their own representatives to the Legislative Assemblies through their own customs and practices.
The final result is not out yet, and in some places the vote-counting is closelyfollowed. There are accusations of fraud in some locations, voiced by followers of MAS in the eastern regions. In Pando there have been confrontations, as police dispersed MAS followers who held a vigil outside the regional election commission office. In Beni, MAS gubernator candidate Jessica Jordan stated that in her electoral table not a single vote has been registered, even though she herself votedfor MAS there.
In the gubernatorial elections, MAS came first in six out of nine departments; La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Chuquisaca, Potosí and Cochabamba. In Cochabamba, Oruro, Cochabamba and Potosí, MAS candidates won by landslides in Cochabamba, Oruro, La Paz and Potosí (58-63%), but the most significant advance was the fact that MAS came first in Pando (with 49%). Pando is one of the fourdepartments that make up the so-called “Media Luna” (‘half moon’), where a ferocious and often violent campaign against the government of Evo Morales was launched by rightwing forces in 2007-2008. A MAS government in the east would be historic in itself. The vote-count in Pando is not over; there might be a second round there.
The rightwing forces did however hold their ground in the other easterndepartments. They won clear victories, according to preliminary figures, in Santa Cruz and Beni. In Tarija there was a close battle between rightists and MAS, but in which the right emerged victorious. In Santa Cruz, the double victory of the rightwing autonomists in gubernatorial and mayoral elections is interpreted (by local mainstream media) as a sign of the steadfastness of the easternresistance against Evo & MAS. In Santa Cruz, MAS had fielded the veteran socialist leader Jerjes Justiano. In Beni, their candidate was 26-year old photo model and former Miss Bolivia Jessica Jordan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8qDa4SxLRQ ). Had MAS been able to capture any of those regions (although highly unlikely from the beginning), it would have enabled a qualitative leap in the revolutionaryprocess. Now the division of Bolivia remains, although the trenches will have moved some steps ahead if the Pando victory is confirmed.
The most significant result, without a doubt, was the elections of December 2009, when MAS got one of its largest voting. That is why in this election is perceived decline and loss of important spaces especially at the municipal level through the establishment oflocal leaders of opposition (MSM , “the Fearless Movement”, although essentially a personalist and populist party, has its origins in the left) in two cities: La Paz and Oruro that used to be strongholds for the MAS) perhaps as a consequence of political mismanagement in the election for the leadership of MAS. In these elections MSM has emerged as the main opposition force in the western...