Security & Strategic Review - March 2023

BOLIVIA: Infighting begins to destabilise the MAS

Bolivia’s left-wing Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), which has ruled the country with near hegemonic status for much of the past 17 years, is now at a crossroads. Since returning the party to government in 2020, President Luis Arce has struggled to step out from the shadow of former president Evo Morales (2006-2019). Amid a growing rift between Arce and his predecessor, all the signs now indicate that Morales is preparing a return to the presidency in the 2025 general elections. With primaries to select a MAS candidate due to be held in 2024, this year will be pivotal in determining whether Morales can rebuild the party in his own image. The extent of the rift could also pose wider electoral problems for the MAS by tarnishing the image of both men, although the opposition is poorly placed to capitalise on the MAS divisions.

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