A few days after the presidential election in Bolivia, President Evo Morales faces major protests from Bolivians against his candidacy for a fourth term.
This Saturday (12), there was clash between militants of the Morales party, the Movement to Socialism (MAS), and other groups in the city of Potosí. In the morning, university students and other sectors of the population gathered in various parts of the city and made blockades, as part of the six-day civic action in the country. It was then that the MAS militants faced them, according to the Bolivian newspaper Pagina Siete.
In a campaign campaign in Potosi, Morales said the right wing "wants the dead" and "give a coup" and called for reassurance. "Quiet brothers, they want to provoke, we will not go into provocation," said the president.
The Bolivian president is running in the October 20 elections despite losing a referendum on the 2016 reelection limit. In the referendum, 51% of voters denied the president the possibility of running a fourth term. But Morales was authorized by Bolivia's Plurinational Constitutional Court (the Supreme Court) to stand in the 2019 elections.
Thousands of people gathered in La Paz and other cities in Bolivia to urge the referendum to be respected on Thursday, October 10, the 37th anniversary of the resumption of democracy in the country.
During demonstrations in recent days, activists held popular consultations on issues of national interest, including: respecting the 2016 referendum outcome, defending the environment and not recognizing election results if Morales wins with fraud, Los Tiempos newspaper.
Bolivian government officials downplayed the protests, saying it was an "end-of-campaign" campaign by the opposing forces and one could not "usurp the popular will".
Bolivia's constitution provides that the government must respect the decisions of the popular consultations, the so-called "open cabildos", which are not binding but must be considered by the authorities "at the corresponding decision levels".
Demonstrations in the country are being called by the National Committee for the Defense of Democracy. On Thursday, opposing Morales candidates participated in the protests.
A ViaCiencia poll released on Friday found that the gap between candidates Evo Morales and Carlos Mesa narrowed from 21.9 to 10.4 points. According to the poll, Morales has the preference of 38.8% of voters, and second is Mesa, with 28.4%.
The same survey states that third is Bolivia's candidate Say No, Oscar Ortiz, with 9.6 percent, and fourth, Chi Hyun Chung, of the Christian Democratic Party, with 5.9 percent.
The results point to a second round between Morales and Mesa. Still according to the same poll, Morales would have 45.3% of the votes, and Mesa, 44%.
Evo Morales is the longest-serving Bolivian president in the country's history – he took office in 2006 and was reelected twice. If he is elected for a fourth term, he could reach 19 years in office.