The interim president of Bolivia, Jeanine Añez, announced Thursday, September 17, her withdrawal from the presidential race a month before the elections, with the aim of preventing a victory of the left candidate Luis Arce, runner-up of former president Evo Morales.

"Today, I put aside my candidacy for the presidency of Bolivia, to ensure democracy," said the right-wing president in a televised message.


Hoy dejo de lado mi candidateura en homenaje a la libertad y la democracia.

Lo que está en juego en esta elección no es poca cosa.

De verdad, está en juego la democracia in Bolivia.

- Jeanine Añez Chavez (@JeanineAnez) September 18, 2020

She explained that she made this decision "because of the risk of seeing the democratic vote divided between several candidates and that following this division, the MAS (Movement for Socialism, led by Morales) will end up winning the elections" planned. on October 18th.

>> To see: Covid-19 in Bolivia: an economic crisis turned social

Accompanied by her vice-presidential candidate, businessman Samuel Doria Medina, and other political allies, Jeanine Añez, 53, called for unity against the MAS, whose candidate is leading the election polls.

"If we don't unite, Morales comes back; if we don't unite, democracy loses; if we don't unite, dictatorship wins," she said.

Luis Arce leads the polls

Jeanine Añez leaves the electoral race the day after the publication of a poll by the Jubilee Catholic Foundation, which awarded her fourth place, with only 7% of the voting intentions.

At the head of this poll is Luis Arce (29.2%), followed by former president Carlos Mesa (19%) and by a regional manager Luis Fernando Camacho (10.4%).

Bolivia has been going through a post-election crisis since the presidential election in October 2019. Evo Morales had declared himself the winner of the presidential election for a fourth term, but the opposition had cried fraud.

>> To read: Presidential election in Bolivia: a statistical study disputes Evo Morales' accusations of fraud

After weeks of protests, the president resigned and fled Bolivia, let loose by the police and the army.

He first took refuge in Mexico and then in Argentina, and Jeanine Añez became interim president in November 2019.

She had promised to lead a transitional government to call new elections in 2020. But in January, she announced her candidacy, a move widely criticized by her opponents and some allies.

With AFP

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