August 10, 2008

Morales is Confirmed in Office

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Exit polls are being reported already by television station ATB and Red Unitel.

According to Red Unitel (video):

Morales was approved by the 60.12% of the vote at the national level.

The Prefects who were approved were: Costas (Santa Cruz) with 69.46% of the vote, Suares (Beni) with 67.72%, Cossio (Tarija) got 57.83%, Virreira (Potosi) 70.78%, and Fernandez (Pando) with 57.36%.

Prefects who will be recalled are: Paredes (La Paz) with 35.72%, Reyes Villa (Cochabamba) with 33.93%, and too close to call is the vote for Aguilar (Oruro) with 49.19%.

Repeat, this are exit polls and not official.

The question is what will happen with the vacant offices. The answer is that the government is already picking people to appoint. Let's remember that according to the constitution, the President still has the competency to appoint the Prefects. This is what will happen, until, that is, the next elections. So the result is that the opposition has lost two important players in Paredes and Reyes Villa. Aguilar was a MAS supporter, there is no problem there, but in La Paz and Cochabamba, the government is most likely to appoint someone sympathetic to it.

The other question will be if these Prefects will be accepted by the population. This, for sure, will drive to more confrontations between opponents in each department and the government.

In another result, the President was seeking an approval vote of 80%. What will happen now that he only got 60%? Will this make him a looser in the eyes of the population?

Of course he is prone to call victory because his result is above of what he got in 2005 (53.7%).

The Prefects who were ratified have said they will continue with the implementation of their autonomic statutes. I imagine, now more than ever, they will push ahead if the opposition is weaker. Although, La Paz and Cochabamba was never clear they wanted autonomy. In any case, all the departments who voted for autonomy reconfirmed their Prefects.

More to follow...... stay tuned!