LA PAZ – Bolivian President Evo Morales has wound up his electoral campaign sure of an overwhelming victory in general elections on Sunday as anticipated by opinion polls, while rival Samuel Doria Medina is hoping for a surprise.
Both ended their campaigns on Wednesday coinciding with the arrival of the electoral observation missions of the Organization of American States and Union of South American Nations.
The leader closed the campaign in his bastion of El Alto city, the poorest and second most-populated in Bolivia, before a crowd of tens of thousands of followers.
Meanwhile, Doria Medina chose the eastern city of Santa Cruz, the most prosperous and inhabited region of the country.
In his speech, Morales seemed confident of winning in the nine departments of the country because of his management of the administration since January 2006 when he took charge for the first time.
Morales started his second term in 2010 and now seeks a third with the endorsement of the constitutional court, which argued that although the constitution allows only two consecutive terms, the first term from 2006 to 2010 does not count as the country was refounded in 2009 with the new constitution.
According to the president, “Sunday will give a blow to the empire, neoliberalism, traitors and separatists.”
Morales always labels the United States as an empire and his opposition rivals as “traitors” and “separatists,” accusing them of wanting to hand over natural resources to foreign companies and wanting to divide the country.
Doria Medina said that Sunday would mark an important day for democracy in Bolivia as in nine years Morales has only governed to get more power and his terms have resulted in more insecurity, drug trafficking, corruption, and less justice and freedom.
According to opinion polls Morales is the favorite with between 57 percent and 59 percent of the vote, with an advantage of more than 40 points over Doria Medina, who will get between 13 percent and 18 percent.
After the end of campaigning, from Thursday there will be a period of 72 hours of “electoral silence” until election day, during which candidates do not appear in the media or in electoral events.