LA PAZ – Bolivian President Evo Morales, who on Sunday marked his 11th anniversary in power, defended “the stability and the continuity” of his government, given the fact that since the country’s 1825 founding presidents have lasted an average of only two years in office.
Morales addressed Parliament and foreign ambassadors to provide a review of his 11 years in power, drawing comparisons with the previous 180 years of Bolivian political history.
“Since 1825, our republic has had 83 presidents, of which 37 were by coups d’etat, equivalent to 45 percent. Listen well, in the Republic, in 180 years, the average duration of a president was two years,” Morales said.
“Imagine, a president gets to two years, what could he plan, what could he organize in terms of the state? The president who lasted the longest, Andres de Santa Cruz y Calahumana (1829-1839), (was deposed) by a coup d’etat planned by the Chilean oligarchs, supported by the Bolivian oligarchs,” he said.
Despite the figures presented by Morales, historian and former President Carlos Mesa, who governed from 2003-2005, in 2016 reissued one of his reference books on Bolivian presidential history in which he states that the country has had 88 governments and 65 presidents, including Morales’ three terms beginning in 2006.
Morales said that “the stability and the continuity (of his government) have been so important for organizing, planning, investing and for the country to get ahead.”
He also cited several examples of presidents from the ranks of the military who were in office for just a few days, others who governed while there were two presidents claiming legitimacy simultaneously and even a triumvirate that lasted just six hours in power.
Morales will end his third term in January 2020, but he aspires to run for reelection yet again in 2019 and govern until 2025, when the country will celebrate its 200th anniversary.