Opinion | The Lesson from Bolivia for Latin American Politics


It’s not simple to persuade fashionable leaders who’ve had a style of energy, and who typically search a return to workplace as reduction from the authorized issues they face, to maneuver on. In Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, besieged by quite a few corruption fees, was anticipated to pursue a 3rd presidential time period in 2019 however reversed course after polls urged she’d lose. As an alternative, she promoted Alberto Fernández, a regulation professor and former chief of employees seen as much less ideological, as her occasion’s candidate, and as a substitute ran as vp. He received by a big majority.

In Ecuador, the previous President Rafael Correa is following the identical playbook. His political motion nominated Andrés Arauz, a 35-year-old economist and former authorities minister, as its candidate for February’s presidential election. Mr. Arauz’s probabilities could rely upon how a lot distance he can put between himself and the polarizing Mr. Correa, who in April was sentenced to eight years in jail on corruption fees.

Different leaders may even see themselves as the one ones who can defeat their opposition. In Brazil, there may be speak that the previous President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva may run for president in 2022. However whereas Mr. da Silva stays a larger-than-life determine in Brazilian politics, he could be 76 by the point he runs, and his assist has its limits — sufficient solely to get him to a second spherical in an election, the place polls say he’d lose to President Jair Bolsonaro. Passing the baton to the brand new leaders rising underneath Mr. Bolsonaro’s presidency could also be a greater guess for his Employees’ Get together.

The lesson doesn’t simply apply to left-wing events. In Argentina, the previous President Mauricio Macri’s center-right coalition will doubtless attempt to stage an electoral comeback within the 2023 presidential election. However, given his deeply unfavorable view amongst voters, his occasion could also be extra more likely to discover success by championing another person.

Polls recommend that individual could also be Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta of Buenos Aires. Although some critics say he lacks charisma, Mr. Rodríguez Larreta’s popularity as an environment friendly supervisor has made him one of the most popular political figures in the country. It could be one other instance of a much less polarizing determine providing a contemporary begin for Mr. Macri’s political mission.

Whereas Mr. Arce’s victory in Bolivia is trigger for optimism, over time his effort to show the web page on Mr. Morales could turn into a cautionary story. As Mr. Corrales wrote, successors who take over from outgoing leaders stroll a tightrope.

“When a president betrays a marketing campaign promise — on this case, the promise to hold the torch from a predecessor — they disappoint two teams: those that wished continuismo, and those that wished actual change, with the latter by no means changing into satisfied that you’re a true convert,” Mr. Corrales wrote.



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