Bolivia’s 2020 presidential candidates: A very quick guide

Presidential CandidateVice Presidential Candidate
MAS-IPSPLuis Arce Catacora undefinedundefined
finance minister, 2005–19
David Choquehuancaundefinedundefined
foreign minister, 2005–17
CCCarlos Mesa Gisbertundefinedundefined
president, 2003–05
Gustavo Pedraza Méridaundefinedundefined
planning minister, 2004-05
FPVChi Hyun Chungundefinedundefined
doctor, Baptist pastor
Leopoldo Chui
lawyer, El Alto prosecutor
Jeanine Áñezundefinedundefined
interim president
Samuel Doria Medinaundefinedundefined
planning minister, 1991–93
CreemosLuis Fernando Camachoundefinedundefined
Santa Cruz civic movement
Marco Antonio Pumariundefinedundefined
Potosí civic movement
Libre 21Jorge Tuto Quirogaundefinedundefined
president, 2001–02
Tomasa Yarhuiundefinedundefined
rural affairs minister, 2001–02
PAN-BOLFeliciano Mamani
Cooperative Miners Federation
Ruth Nina
police spouses association
Ismael Schabibundefined
Navy admiral
Remberto Siles
Army general

Today, February 3 was the deadline for Bolivian parties to submit their candidate lists for the May 3 general election, which replaces the annulled October 2019 vote. Here is a summary of the parties, their political situation, and their candidates.

MAS-IPSPThe party of ousted president Evo Morales won 44 to 47% of the vote in the disputed 2019 election, but must bounce back from nationwide protests and overcome procedural obstacles and political persecution to reclaim power. Candidate Luis Arce Catacora designed a redistributive, but fiscally responsible economic course during Morales’ 14 year reign.
CCFormer president Carlos Mesa Gisbert mounted the first serious challenge to Morales in 2019 by promising to continue his social policies and indigenous inclusion, winning 37% of the vote. He went silent, however, as forces further right took the lead in defending his claim to a runoff, and may not be able to reassemble the center–right coalition he created.
FPVChristian conservative Chi Hyun Chung made a surprising third-place finish in 2019, eclipsing the hard right parties with an anti-gay, patriarchal family vision. He changed party affiliation to the Frente Para la Victoria after the PDC backed the civic candidates in Creemos.
Political unknown Jeanine Áñez, a senator from Beni, took the political stage as the face of a civic–military alliance in November. From the beginning the interim president both promised to be a messenger of radical right and a purely transitional figure. In January, she began to position herself as the unity candidate of the anti-MAS opposition, but her candidacy has further fractured the political right. However her alliance adds center-left La Paz mayor Luis Revilla to the Unión Nacional (of VP candidate Samuel Doria Media), Democratas (of Santa Cruz’s Ruben Costas) and a minor Tarija party, Todos.
CreemosFrom the August cabildo of Santa Cruz citizens amid the Bolivian fires, Santa Cruz civic movement leader Luis Fernando Camacho began positioning himself as the alternative challenger to Evo Morales. In the final days of the three-week protest, Camacho catapulted himself to the center of the political stage. His alliance with the Potosí civic movement and its leader Marco Pumari is an attempt to position the hard-right civic movement as transcending race and region. The alliance claimed the ballot lines of PDC (previously, Chi Hyun Chung’s) and the UCS (a one-time reformist party).
Libre 21Former president Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga was the power behind negotiations to bring Áñez into the presidency, and then her emissary to the international community. After a series of undiplomatic outbursts, he resigned to focus on his political ambitions to return to the Palacio Quemado. His electoral alliance pairs the center-right MNR and indigenous autonomist MPS, which is only possible because of the relentless unmooring of Bolivian parties from their ideologies over time.
PAN-BOLAt the last minute Feliciano Mamani of the Cooperative Miners Federation (Fencomin) displaced police spouses organization leader Ruth Nina. Fencomin‘s tacit alliance with the MAS-IPSP fell apart in the deadly clashes during its protests of a new mining law in 2016.
ADNAt the last minute, the authoritarian party founded by military dictator (and elected president, 1997–2001) Hugo Banzer put forward a slate of two retired military leaders, abandoning the Creemos ticket. The candidates are Navy vice admiral Ismael Schabib and Army general Remberto Siles. This is the first ADN bid for president since 2002. And on February 8, they became the first party to withdraw, due to disorganization within the party.

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