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Sunday, December 18, 2005
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Leftist set for Bolivia victory

Exit polls from Bolivia’s presidential election suggest a clear victory for left-wing Aymara Indian candidate Evo Morales - though not an outright win.

Several polls give him 42-45% of the vote ahead of his nearest challenger, former President Jorge Quiroga who, the polls say, got between 33-37%.

Mr Quiroga has now admitted defeat, offering his congratulations to his opponent and his party.

Mr Morales seems certain to become Bolivia’s first indigenous president.

If no candidate polls 50% of the votes, the new parliament - also being elected on Sunday - will formally vote on who the next president should be.

The implications for US policy, especially in the drug war, will be most interesting to watch unfold.

It is certainly a watershed in Bolivian politics.

Matthew Shugart has some initial analysis.

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  1. Morales and his party’s policy on Coca is that he will sign up to accords banning the transportation of drugs. The Coca leaf has many uses by the indigenous population of the country, and has had so for centuries.

    Comment by Mark Brown — Sunday, December 18, 2005 @ 9:13 pm

  2. Trust me, I am well aware of the situation with coca, it is an are of academic study of mine. Hwoever, there can be no doubt that Morales will not be friendly to US policy—certainly I find it unlikely that the US is going be friendly to Morales’ positions on the topic.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Monday, December 19, 2005 @ 9:42 am

  3. Morales’ election isn’t really a “shocker,” is it? He has been the leading candidate for months.

    Comment by Gibbon — Monday, December 19, 2005 @ 12:07 pm

  4. If he gets 40+% of the vote, and especially if he gerts 50% outright, yes, that is very much a shocker.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Monday, December 19, 2005 @ 1:37 pm

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