Arce and Choquehuanca
© Systemic Alternatives
New president Luis Arce and running mate David Choquehuanca
Bolivia went to the polls yesterday for the first election since the coup d'état in November 2019, that removed Evo Morales from the leadership and from the country and put the country under a western backed right wing coup government. This coup was carried out for lithium, as Morales was developing the Lithium sector and had made agreements to start the long road to manufacturing batteries and electric vehicles. Elon Musk was accused of having had a hand in the coup (Lithium prices rose sharply a day or so before) and his comment was: "We will coup whoever we want. Get used to it!"

So for the past year, the notable members of Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), and IPSP, the party of Evo Morales, were in some cases massacred, persecuted and beaten. This did not stop them and they demanded elections. Having united into one Bloc, having inherited the gentle style of Morales and under new young, educated and committed leaders, they are now more powerful than ever before. The intervention from the usual suspects could not break through, despite a self-appointed president, despite the persecution, despite US intervention, the MAS is back and even more powerful. This is what a true majority of the people looks like.

Last night's exit polls show that Bolivia's Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) won the presidency in the 1st round with 52.4% of the vote. This is an even higher score than when Evo Morales won in 2019. According to exit polls data, 31.5% people voted for Carlos Mesa.

Formal results will be announced on Wednesday, but it is clear that MAS won decisively. They also had put in place their own vote counting system that is iron clad. There were sporadic incidents of violence, the election observers were threatened and one of them was detained and Bolivians woke up on election morning with La Paz having been militarized by army and police to an almost ridiculous level. None of this scared off the MAS.

The Añez/Murillo/Mesa coup could take place a year ago because Evo Morales could not hold onto the loyalty of his military - they were open to bribery. The amazing thing that I saw following the election, is the clear move from military figures toward MAS. Perhaps the bribe money ran out, or they found that the promises by the coup government were only promises or perhaps they saw the wholesale looting of their country as soon as the coup government took over.

An hour ago, Evo Morales, who continued leading the growth of MAS from outside, had this to say:

Translation:
"Sisters and brothers: the will of the people has prevailed. There has been a resounding victory for the MAS-IPSP. Our political movement will have the majority in both chambers. We have returned millions, now we are going to return dignity and freedom to the people."
The next few days are crucial.

The new President, Luis Arce Catacora (Lucho Arce), described this win as "We have regained our souls."

Luis Arce served the Morales government as Minister of Economy.

The new leadership needs to consolidate, the votes need to be counted formally and correctly and the patriotic elements within the police & military must be consolidated, to ensure the US/Murillo don't launch a second coup against the majority of Bolivians.

Ollie Vargas who continually stayed on the matter and on point with excellent reporting over the past year:

May it be that little Bolivia have shown us the path of what it looks like when The People Unite and Win.

A message was sent: "Marco Rubio, come collect your puppets in Bolivia. They won't make it out alive if they try rig the election now."

Update : The sitting and de facto (self-elected) president Jeanine Añez Chaves just announced the following:
"We still don't have official results, but from the information I have, Mr. Arce and Mr. Choquehuanca have won the election."