Positive change or more of the same? Historic elections in Bolivia

Bolivian general voting ballot 2020. Source: Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Bolivia.
By Vittorio Baste Bonafont

This Sunday 18 October is historic in Bolivia, whatever the result that is presented electorally; why, exactly one year after the controversial October elections 2019, where the authoritarian former president Evo Morales proclaimed himself the winner, which led to social polarization and also to Morales' exile first in Mexico and then in Argentina.

After that critical moment, the country finally goes to general elections, where president and vice president of the Republic are elected, senators, deputies and supra-state representatives.

In Bolivia, more than 7.3 million voters to vote, of that group more than 300 one thousand Bolivians can exercise suffrage from abroad.

The electoral contest is defined in two ways; in the first round or with the second round scheduled for the 29 of November, if this is the case. In the first scenario, a candidacy needs to have the 50% of the valid votes or, failing that, that the candidacy that is located in first place obtains a 40% of valid votes with a difference from the second of ten percentage points; If this is not fulfilled, there will be a second round between the two most voted candidates, which will surely be Luis Arce's from the MAS party (Movement to Socialism) and that of the Bolivian opponent and former president Carlos Mesa of the CC (Citizen Community). The official result will be ready seven days after the elections..

Recent polls show that a runoff is highly likely, since Luis Arce from MAS could reach the 42.2% and Carlos Mesa would reach a 33.1%.

If there is a second round, the injured party would be the MAS party, akin to Morales, because it is very likely that according to the results of the polls the socialist candidate will win in the first round, but lose in the second, because it is presumed that the votes of the third candidacy, by Luis Fernando Camacho, go to Carlos Mesa.

Against this background, there are the questions: Will there be a second round? Will Arce be able to govern if the MAS wins? Will the official results be respected by The candidates? Possibly this Sunday they will be answered.