November 16, 2008

Possible Contenders in Next Year's Elections

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If the new Constitution is approved next year in January, which is expected to happen, the next step will be to pass laws to start implementing the new system. After that, the other significant event will be the general elections in December 2009.

For the latter, there are already groups trying to get together to offer an alternative to MAS.

For example, Samuel Doria Medina, leader of the political party UN, wants to start a group called National Alliance. For that he invited all leaders who want to participate. He also wants to directly elect the person who will lead this front into the elections.

The Santa Cruz Prefect, Ruben Costas, also wants to create an alternative, the National Ample Front. His idea is to group together regional parties to promote autonomy as a central issue.

In addition, in Santa Cruz there are two other groups wanting to organize. One group will be an initiative from the Santa Cruz faction in Congress. Those Senators and Deputies who once represented PODEMOS, which, as of today, it seems destined to extinction. The other project is denominated Equalitarian Collective, which will have a leftist leaning.

In the Andes, as it was to be expected, Felipe Quispe wants to make a comeback with his party, Pachakuti Indigenous Movement. He wants to dispute the leadership with Evo Morales.

Also, former leader of FSUTCB and CSUTCB, activist Alejo Veliz, has created Pulso (Peoples for Liberty and Sovereignty). It is believed he will be taking part on the next elections.

Another front from the Altiplano (high plateau) is the Potosi Alianza Social (Social Alliance) lead by Mayor Rene Joaquino. He has already taken part in the last elections. It is also to be expected for him to take part in the oncomong elections. He has a commanding lead in Potosi.

On the side of the traditional political parties, the MNR is currently trying to clean up house and get ready for next year. I am expecting also that MIR, to a most regional level, will be taking part in next years elections.

There is an unconfirmed rumor that former Presidents Carlos Mesa and Rodriguez Velze, together with former Vicepresident Victor Hugo Cardenas, will be organizing a group to participate in the elections next year. The rumor is going on strong because neither party, especially Mesa, wants to deny it.

Of course, MAS will be taking part as the current major political force to reckon with.

That seems to be the future political landscape. Notice that there are few political parties and lots of alliances. This is attributed to the still going on crisis in the Bolivian political party system. A new animal has appeared, the civic alliance.