Bolivian President Evo Morales was elected for another five-year term on Sunday, winning 62.5 percent of the national vote and 78.5 percent in La Paz. With the previous constitution prohibiting consecutive re-election, it is the first time in 45 years that a Bolivian president will serve two consecutive terms. The runner-up, Manfred Reyes Villa of the Plan Progreso Bolivia-Convergencia Nacional party (PPB-CN), won 27.6 percent of votes nationally and 9.4 percent in La Paz.
The governing party, Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) also obtained a majority of seats in the senate. Having won 24 seats, MAS now controls two-thirds of the chamber and has senators in regions that have traditionally opposed the president. The government has announced that its new senate majority will allow it to accelerate reforms. The first legislation that will be introduced on December 12 is a Federal Autonomy law (Ley Marco de Autonomía) that will shape the legal framework for the autonomy status of the nine departments, the region of Gran Chaco and 11 autonomous indigenous municipalities.
Morales announced today that under the terms of the 2009 constitution, which permits re-election to one additional term, this constitutes his first election: “If we talk of the new constitution… this is the first election of Evo Morales,” he argued. Voters will return to the polls on April 4 for municipal and departmental elections.