Monday, December 19, 2005

More detailed information on elections

The CNE is due to post some preliminary results today by noon, Bolivian time.
In the meantime, I am going to use the poll numbers provided by TV and radio networks.

This article from El deber reproduces some quotes that I missed from interviews to Tuto Quiroga and Samuel Doria Medina. They show that Tuto Quiroga, indeed, recognized the MAS victory, although in a vague noncommittal way. Samuel on the other hand stated that he would support the first majority.

Let's see how different regions of Bolivia have voted using an image from the article above. Evo Morales has a stronger support in the western part of Bolivia while he does not finish first in the eastern side. That is not a surprise, the policies that he wants to pursue have been repeatedly demanded only in the west. This asks for a close examination of the governor elections.

Previously, presidents would impose the governors for each region. This election was the first in which governors were elected by direct vote. From the preliminary results, it seems that most of the elected governors are not from Evo Morales' party. That will likely make harder to implement some policies for MAS. Especially tougher measures on gas companies. This will become a central-versus-regional debate. I think that the elected governors from Santa Cruz and Tarija will oppose the future gas policies on the grounds that it meddles with their autonomy.

The policies that the MAS wants to implement in the short term are: legalize coca leaf crops, impose additional obligations to gas companies, call a constituent assembly and implement employment protection laws.

A few weeks ago I didn't support the organization of a constituent assembly. Its advocates argued that they wanted to rewrite the constitution to change the current status of land tenure, economical model, etc. Actually they are not very specific on what areas they would like to change and in which way. That is one of the reasons that I didn't support this cause. Another reason for which I was skeptical was that it is possible to change the current constitution following the current established methods of change.

Thanks to a link by MABB, I could listen to a series of presentations about the Bolivian political situation. The speakers included both supporters and detractors of the constituent assembly process. The supporters were not articulate or specific enough to make their case against their detractors. They fail to mention what I think is a valid reason to make this assembly. Currently it is possible to change the constitution but it is slow and most importantly it requires a lot of political will which is usually absent, because congressmen in general were used to support the status quo. By agreeing in making the assembly, it is a fact that there is going a talk on highly thorny topics that would otherwise would be indirectly blocked.

I think the constituent assembly is about having the political will for change rather than a technical device. I now weakly support this assembly. I say weakly because I am not sure about the assembly specific aspects.

Finally, I was surprised to see in the graphic that I used in the post that there was a second round mentioned. The candidates didn't agree to go for a second round and Bolivia's electoral process doesn't include it. Did I miss something?

3 Comments:

Blogger metka said...

Were the elections both for president as for governors? Are they chosen by regions or by political parties? How do the results for governors show then?

4:03 AM  
Blogger Alexey said...

You could vote for the president, the region governor (prefecto de departamento) and your local candidate to senate, I think. About the last one I am not sure how it works. I will post more information as soon as I collect links.

The three may be affiliated to parties, but not necessarily. I don't have results for the other two to show yet.

Cheers!

4:13 AM  
Blogger Alexey said...

So, now you can vote for the governor of your region, the deputy of your circumscription (smaller divisions of the region) and your national representatives who would elect the president.

I wanted to find the numbers for governors in El Deber but I am not lucky. Take a look at this picture, http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4495/859/1600/prefectos.1.jpg, which I stole from the following blog: http://aruiznavajas.blogspot.com/ .

2:56 PM  

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