December 16, 2005

Bolivian Elections: Images and News

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48 hours to E-day. Here is a last round of international headlines in the English world. They show, nervousness and perhaps a little worry from the part of the US as to the outcome. One headline says it all: `Nightmare' is on rise for Bolivia leadership, says the Sun Sentinel Online. "Now, holding the lead ahead of Sunday's presidential election, he's threatening to be 'a nightmare for the government of the United States.'", it goes on to say.

The BBC says: "Bolivia candidate 'US nightmare'." "Mr Morales has vowed to end free-market policies and legalise the growing of coca, which has traditional uses but is also used in the production of cocaine." Moreover, Reuters writes that the US is concerned over the Bolivian elections. Reuters quotes "U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Washington had long supported the current Bolivian government's counter-narcotics policy and hoped a new government would have the same approach. 'We expect whatever government comes next in Bolivia to honor those commitments that they have made to fight the production and transport of illegal drugs,' he told a news briefing."

With a bit more ecepticism, the writes "Bolivia may give U.S. a new problem". "Evo Morales, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and a critic of the United States, appeared poised to get the most votes for Bolivia's presidency on Sunday. However, Congress will probably choose the winner because no candidate is expected to garner a majority.

But, above all, according to the Voice of America (VoA), the "US Expects Bolivia to Continue Anti-Drug Efforts". "The Bush administration has taken a low public profile with regard to the Bolivian election race, despite the publicity surrounding Mr. Morales, a one-time leader of the country's coca growers federation who is considered the front-runner in Sunday's election. But it is suggesting [now] that it might reconsider the United States' long-standing close relationship with the La Paz government if Mr. Morales wins and follows through with a campaign pledge to, at least, partially legalize the coca industry."

Note: images from Reuters and AP through Yahoo news.