Bolivia: The Anti-MAS Forces Could Not Yet Digest Election Result

Sandeep Banerjee

Last year the Coup d’état happened. When Evo Morales of MAS won the election as President; as far the result had been released he was  more than 10 per centage point ahead. But the right wingers were ready for a coup. They started destabilisation by hooliganism in public places, unruly protests to say the least, attacked house of Morales, set on fire and what not. When Morales communicated with the military for help, military chief instead “advised him” to resign and go away to some country which would give him asylum.

After almost a year election was arranged and this time too MAS won decisively with more than 54% votes. New president Luis Arce, who was Finance minister with Morales during the MAS reign is going to take oath on next Sunday.

But meanwhile the opposition tried all the way to block MAS form the government again.  For example: (1) The opposition ‘won’ in the Santa Cruz state. There a group staged a demonstration on October 26. Let us quote from El Economista of Mexico.
Hundreds of protesters marched Monday to the headquarters of the Eighth Army Division in the eastern city of Santa Cruz, where they shouted for "military aid" to prevent Morales' Movement for Socialism (MAS) from returning to power.
Strong result
"I don't want a communist country," read a banner, according to the daily El Deber in Santa Cruz, Bolivia's richest region, 900 km east of La Paz.
"I support the constitutional transition of power to a military junta to avoid consuming a second electoral fraud," read another poster.
However, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, as well as the right-wing interim president, Jeanine Áñez, and four international observer missions highlighted that the October 18 elections were clean and peaceful, and that Arce's victory is legitimate, with 55.11% of the votes.
Neither the Armed Forces nor the government have spoken out on the protesters' calls, an ultra-sensitive issue in a nation that experienced military barracks and dictatorships before 1982. []

Morales learnt it and offered his advice to all MAS supporters and also the Military on the next day by Twitter. He said Army must abide by the constitution. And people should keep calm. Then again another example: (2) From Rebelion we see the opposition was votes recounted!
The Minister of the Presidency, Yerko Núñez, on behalf of the Executive Branch, sent a letter to the President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Salvador Romero, in which he requests that, in order to give Bolivian citizens certainty, tranquility and credibility, respond to the request for "public and spontaneous expressions of different territorial social and civic organizations" and order an audit of the elections held on October 18.
Núñez, on behalf of the Government, assures that said determination "is necessary and essential to grant greater legitimacy to the results of the elections, for the sake of democracy and the validity of pacification in the country", initiated, according to him, after the coup that put Jeanine Áñez in the presidency. democracy and the validity of pacification in the country", initiated, according to him, after the coup that put Jeanine Áñez in the presidency. []

And lastly (3)we hear of a dynamite attack in MAS office.
The spokesman for the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), Sebastián Michel, denounced that, on Thursday night, a group of people attacked the president-elect Luis Arce Catacora by detonating a dynamite puppy in the campaign house of this political party when a meeting was taking place, according to a press release from the political party.
“A few minutes ago we were victims of an attack by a group that left a dynamite puppy in the tent where our own president-elect Luis Arce was meeting. We are very concerned about what is happening, "said the representative in an interview with Televisión Universitaria and Red Uno.

Although there are no reports of injuries, Michel regretted that the authorities in charge of the country's security did not issue any statement …"We have not seen any statement on the subject of the Minister of Government Arturo Murillo, so we feel that we are at the mercy of ourselves, totally unprotected and no one gives us the necessary guarantee for the security of our authority," he added. … The incident occurred in the Sopocachi area. []

Now workers and peasants are alarmed. They are taking stapes. Please read the following excerpt.

Faced with the threats of confrontation, … Sebastián Felipe Gabriel, announced this Thursday that 10,000 indigenous people from his region will arrive in La Paz over the weekend in order to provide security and ensure possession of the binomial of the PLUS.
For its part, the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) instructed its affiliates to appear in the city of La Paz on Sunday to protect the surroundings of Plaza Murillo and guarantee the act of taking oath of Luis Arce Catacora as president. "… we are indigenous warriors from the North of Potosí, we will never be on our knees and that we want to clarify," said Gabriel in Plaza Murillo.  "We are going to guarantee (the transition), we are not going to fight either, we are going to be seeing taking of the presidency, with our culture, with our instruments, nothing else, no one will be provoked, so 10,000 indigenous people from the North of Potosí will be ", he claimed.  "We workers declare ourselves in a state of emergency to protect La Paz, to protect the Palace, to protect the Plaza Murillo, so that there is no confrontation between colleagues, between brothers," said Juan Carlos Huarachi of COB. []

One thing. We do not know who the spokesman of MAS Sebastián Michel is, we mean his position in the party. We learnt from that REBELION report that: <<Michel also ruled out that the MAS assembles militias in the country as demanded by a leader of the Pact of Unity, an organization that brings together the social sectors of the ruling party. He said that the government of Luis Arce will not allow any irregular armed group in Bolivia and the use of weapons will not be allowed.>> But Michel and President Arce and all of MAS, all comrade workers of COB, all must remember the lesson of Chile 1973. Not building up people’s militia may prove costly in the event of a coup attempt again naturally with the aid of the armed forces of the STATE (which belong to the ruling classes, not the ruling party, by the way).

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Nov 14, 2020

Sandeep Banerjee

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