Bolivia’s people want MAS
This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about Bolivia’s presidential elections. There’s “On This Day”, a book review from listener Warie Blip Porbeni, Ollia’s "Happy Moment”, great music, and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy!
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This week’s quiz: On 24 October, I asked you a political question about Bolivia. The country held its presidential election on 18 October, and I asked you to write in with the name of the man who won, with what percentage of the vote, and the name of his party. But I also asked you to write in with what made this election especially interesting.
The answer is: Bolivia’s president, inaugurated on 8 November, is Luis Arce. He is a member of the Movement for Socialism, or MAS, and won 55.1 percent of the vote.
But why was this vote particularly interesting? Several reasons, mainly about the ousted president, Evo Morales - the first democratically elected president of Bolivia from the indigenous majority. Bolivia has long been a country run by the wealthy descendants of the Spanish colonials. His presidency started out wonderfully. During his 14 years in office, Mr. Morales slashed poverty, built roads and schools, and nationalized the oil and gas industry. But then, alas, as we see so often, he tried to hang onto power, changing the constitution which set forth term limits (that old “President For Life” thing) – and sadly, building himself a big old presidential palace, buying himself a nice presidential jet … what we see so often in countries around the world, developing and so-called developed. It’s so disappointing. Morales was forced to flee the country last year after his run for a fourth term ended in deadly protests amidst accusations that he had committed election fraud and a call by the military for him to step down.
Interestingly, Luis Arce is Morales’ hand-picked successor. Arce, however, distanced himself from Morales and said Morales would have no place in the government. “We are MAS 2.0,” Arce said in an interview shortly before the election.
Morales will continue to head the Movement for Socialism party. He is now back in Bolivia.
So, in fact, although Bolivians no longer wanted Evo Morales as head of state, they obviously still supported the Movement for Socialism party and the early policies carried out under Morales, which stood by families who had lived on the margins for so many generations.
The winners are: Four RFI Listener Club members: Jean-Maurice Devault from Montreal, Canada; Mr Samir Mukhopadhyay from Kolkat, India; Mr Riaz Hussain from District Chiniot, Pakistan, and Mr Ralf Urbanczyk from Eisleben, Germany. Rounding out the list of lucky winners this week is listener Miss Arundhati Mukherjee, from Barrackpore, India.
Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: "Frog Galliard" by John Dowland, performed by guitarist Christoph Denoth; the overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein, performed by the New York Philharmonic conducted by the composer; “Por tu senda”, written and performed by Alfredo Dominguez; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; “Amazing Grace” performed and arranged by Hiroshi Nakamura, and “Sistah Linda”, written and performed by Wari Blip Porbeni.
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