July 16, 2014

Elections 2014: The Candidates are Set and Official Campaigning can Begin


This week was the deadline for the citizen groups, which will be disputing the general elections in October 2014, to present their official candidates lists. With the submission of these lists the candidates are set and officially allowed political campaigning can begin.

There are basically five groups or as we might call them political alliances, that will take part in the general elections. The most important is, of course, the current government's alliance Movement Towards Socialism - Instrument for the Peoples Sovereignty (MAS - ISPS). This alliance will be led by Evo Morales and Alvaro Garcia as President and Vicepresident candidates, respectively. This is what in Bolivian politics is known as the official side or in Spanish, partido oficialista.

As it was expected, the opposition could not agree on an alliance capable of making real opposition to the MAS. The result of all the meetings, negotiations and gatherings was the opposition being split into four groups or political alliances. These are: the Movement without Fear (Movimiento Sin Miedo, MSM), which placed Juan del Granado and Adriana Gil as President and Vicepresident candidates; Democratic Unity (Unidad Demócrata, UD), which designated Samuel Doria Medina and Ernesto Suárez as President and Vicepresident candidates; the Green Party of Bolivia (Partido Verde de Bolivia, PVB), which postulated Fernando Vargas and Margoth Soria as President and Vicepresident candidates; and lastly the Christian Democratic Party (Partido Demócrata Cristiano, PDC), which postulated Jorge Quiroga y Tomasa Yarhui as President and Vicepresident candidates. If you want details on these groups take a look at my prior posts about the Elections 2014.

A clear continuation of the trend set in 2002 and confirmed in 2005 is the absence of the so called traditional political parties. I am sure you noticed that when I mentioned the political organizations taking part in the elections I described them as groups or political alliances. The reason is because many if not all traditional political parties have lost credibility in the course of the last decade. That is the reason why politicians now tend to form, more or less, ad hoc political groups or alliances to be able to run for public posts. In the opposition, the only traditional party is the Christian Democratic Party, the rest are alliances. In fact, the most important traditional political parties to date, the MNR and the ADN, are about to lose their accreditation at the electoral court.

So there you go, the political landscape is clear (I hope, this is Bolivia after all), the candidates are nominated, and the campaigns are set to begin, right? Well, for the MAS and other alliances such as the MSM, the campaigns were already open some months ago even though this was illegal. But, heck, what is one more month or less?