RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Bolivia’s former president, far-left Evo Morales, faces growing criticism from the opposition and pro-government deputies who claim he is already campaigning for the 2025 elections.
The media outcry orchestrated by Morales over alleged secret munitions shipments from former Argentine President Mauricio Macri is just one of the strings Morales is pulling right now, they say.
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The tenor is that he is trying to portray himself as a victim and cannot acknowledge that, in reality, he fled the country in 2019 into exile in Argentina because he was accused of electoral fraud.
The captain left the ship, and now the damage must be patched.
Among the former president’s arguments is that back then, in 2019, he resigned to avoid attacks on the leaders and base of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS).
“This is paranoia. People don’t believe Evo Morales anymore. There was a poll in which more than 80 percent were against Morales as a candidate. Still, he is trying by force to become a candidate again,” Alejandro Reyes of the Comunidad Ciudadana (CC) told the local Los Tiempos newspaper.
Congressman Rolando Cuellar pointed out that it is far too early to talk about nominations for the 2025 elections anyway since there are still more than four years left in President Luis Arce’s term.
Local analysts, unlike Cuellar, believe that the former president will work from now on to secure his candidacy for the next elections. They say he is already mobilizing to position himself properly early on.
They argue that Morales has chosen the strategy of playing the victim and will never admit his mistakes. But it is obvious, they say, that whatever step he takes, he is campaigning for the next elections.
“You can already see that by him trying to have a tame MAS that doesn’t criticize him, that the voices calling for renewal within MAS are silenced so that he has a smooth path to run in 2025, that’s the main goal,” political scientist Patricia Velasco tells ‘Los Tiempos’.
Observers on the left and the right seem to agree that Evo Morales is trying to reverse his public image. Back in 2019, at the first sign of a crisis, the then-president fled the country, which went down badly with Bolivians. And not only among MAS opponents but also within the party. Many felt abandoned and left to their own devices, says historian Pedro Portugal.