Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bolivia's Choice Voters Reject a President-for-Life Scenario

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bolivia's Choice Voters Reject a President-for-Life Scenario

Article excerpt

Bolivian voters' rejection of President Evo Morales' quest for a fourth term is an unexpected development in an evolving Latin America.

After 10 years in office, more than served by any Bolivian president, Mr. Morales sought a constitutional change that would have permitted him to run again in 2019 and, if he won, remain until 2025. But 51 percent voted no, a surprise to the popular leader.

During his time, poverty has declined and voter participation has risen. He was boosted in office by high prices that were being paid for Bolivia's natural gas. Income from that is now dropping, though, and the country is running deficits.

He may have been hurt in the Feb. 21 vote by a whiff of personal scandal. A former girlfriend heads a Chinese company that received $500 million in Bolivian government contracts. Bolivians also see Mr. …

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