Life Style

Rival factions of the ruling party clashed.

Via Vanessa Buschschluter, BBC News

Reuters A man reacts during clashes between supporters of Bolivian President Luis Arce and supporters of former Bolivian President Evo Morales outside the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, in La Paz, Bolivia July 10, 2024. Reuters

Supporters of two Mas politicians face off in La Paz

Rival factions of Bolivia’s ruling party have clashed in the city of La Paz.

Footage showed supporters of the party throwing rocks, swinging sticks and kicking and punching each other.

The Movement Towards Socialism (Mas) is deeply divided, with some supporting the current president, Luis Arce, and others supporting former president Evo Morales.

Their rivalry is getting fiercer as the general election scheduled for August 2025 approaches.

The movement toward socialism is a powerful force in Bolivian politics.

Except for a one-year hiatus from November 2019 to November 2020, the party’s candidates have led the country for the past 18 years.

But the rift between the two most popular leaders has divided supporters, who turned against each other on Wednesday outside the offices of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE).

Both Mr Morales and President Arce went to the TSE to discuss with leaders of other parties about next year’s general elections.

Clashes outside the electoral court lasted for hours with Mr Arce’s supporters shouting his nickname and “you are not alone!” while Mr Morales’ supporters shouted “President Evo, President Evo”.

The mayor of La Paz, who was at the scene to appeal for calm, was injured when a rock was thrown at him.

The brawl showed the strained relationship between supporters of the former president and the current leader.

For a long time, Mr Morales was the undisputed head of Mas, leading the party to victory in elections in 2005, 2009 and 2014.

However, his decision to run for a fourth consecutive presidential term in the 2019 election has drawn criticism from some within his own party – as well as from opposition forces.

Those opposed to Mr Morales’s continued candidacy say it goes against the will of the people, as Bolivians voted against abolishing presidential term limits in 2016.

EPA Former Bolivian President Evo Morales (center) arrives at the Supreme Electoral Tribunal headquarters in La Paz, Bolivia, July 10, 2024. United States Environmental Protection Agency

Evo Morales was president from 2006 to 2019.

But the president’s supporters say a 2017 constitutional court decision to lift term limits gives his fourth bid a legal basis.

Mr Morales was declared the winner of the 2019 election, but resigned weeks later amid continuing protests over reports of vote-counting fraud and went into exile.

Mr Morales has long maintained that he was forced to resign by the military and that his departure from office was a “coup”.

An interim government led by right-wing senator Jeanine Áñez has been leading Bolivia until new elections are scheduled.

In the re-election held the following year, former finance minister and close ally of Mr Morales, Luis Arce, ran for the Mas party and won overwhelmingly.

Mr Morales returned home but soon fell out with Mr Arce.

In September 2023, Mr. Morales announced that he would run in the 2025 election for the Mas party, pitting him against Mr. Arce, who was expected to run for re-election.

The rift between the two men deepened after the events of June 24—the day Bolivian military commander General Juan José Zúñiga appeared to launch a coup against President Arce.

At first, Mr. Morales condemned General Zúñiga’s actions, but the former president later accused President Arce himself of staging the incident in order to enhance his own reputation.

Mr Arce has denied staging a “self-coup” and dismissed comments from General Zúñiga, who said he acted at Mr Arce’s request.


News 7F: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button