04-10-19 Latin American Weekly Report
Vizcarra takes the plunge and dissolves congress
Morales, Bolivia’s longest-serving president, is finally in sight. The 21 February referendum on whether to reform the 2009 constitution to allow him to run for a third consecutive term in 2019 (under this constitution), delivered a defeat for Morales and his Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS). Morales’ campaign was damaged by corruption allegations – both those surrounding the government’s indigenous development fund (Fondioc) and a recent influence-trafficking scandal which, for the first time, person- ally implicated the president himself [WR-16-07]. Yet his defeat could also be seen as part of a region-wide trend against continuismo – leaders perpetuating themselves in power – as evidenced in the defeat of Venezuela’s Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) in the December 2015 legislative elections, the biggest electoral setback to Chavismo in 17 years, and the victory in Argentina the previous month of Mauricio Macri after 12 years of Kirchnerismo.
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