The candidate for the presidency of Bolivia for the Movement to Socialism (MAS), former Economy Minister Luis Arce, denounced this Monday in Buenos Aires the “lack of guarantees to campaign” with a view to the May 3 elections. “Right now, since the coup d’etat, we suffer persecution and harassment, we demand that the Constitution and the laws still in force be complied with because we have the right to express ourselves,” he said. He has also expressed doubts about the new composition of the electoral tribunal, “which includes people directly related to right-wing candidates.”
Arce resides in Mexico, on condition of political asylum, but says he will return to Bolivia soon. On Friday he traveled as a tourist to Buenos Aires to participate in the assembly, led by former president Evo Morales, who had to choose the candidates of the party or, in its terms, “political instrument.” On Sunday, Morales proclaimed the designation of Arce. The next day, the Bolivian Public Ministry has announced the opening of an investigation against Arce for the Indigenous Fund case, about the alleged subtraction of public money for private use by numerous MAS leaders.
The candidate has been very cautious. He has downplayed the rejection of his candidacy by indigenous social organizations (he has said that the vice president candidate, David Choquehuanca, would dialogue and resolve “the situation”), has considered that the middle classes were not disenchanted after Evo’s three mandates Morales (“we took the middle class to 12 million people living in poverty”) and preferred not to comment on the behavior of military and police leaders who “advised” Morales to resign after irregularities in the elections of October (“those facts will have to be evaluated in due course”).
“The de facto president Jeanine Áñez does not manage the economy well, she turns to the past, the distribution of public companies among oligarchic groups and the fear of people who take their money from the banks and convert it into dollars,” he explained. His first objective as president, he said, would be to “restore stability and confidence” to the economy. “We were never in favor of globalization and free trade, and now Donald Trump himself is opposed,” he said. His presidential administration would give “continuity” to what was accomplished during the mandates of Evo Morales, who denied being the successor: “Here we are all simple militants,” he said.