- Arce is ahead of the former centrist president, Carlos Mesa, and the self-proclaimed interim president, right-winger Jeanine Áñez.
- A candidate must obtain more than 40% of the valid votes, with an advantage of ten percentage points over the runner-up to avoid a second round.
- The May 3 elections were called extraordinarily after the October 10 election was canceled.
Movement for Socialism (MAS) candidate Luis Arce, a candidate installed and being backed by former President Evo Morales, leads in the presidential race opinion poll for the first round of presidential elections in Bolivia. The Bolivia presidential polls are scheduled to take place on May 3, this year.
According to a poll by the Ciesmori institute released on Sunday, Arce is ahead of the former centrist president, Carlos Mesa, and the self-proclaimed interim president, right-winger Jeanine Áñez. However, as per the opinion polls, he would still have to square it out with the runner’s up in a second round.
With 31.6% of voting intentions, Evo’s candidate appears 14.5 percentage points ahead of Mesa, who garnered 17.1% support in the poll. Áñez, the current acting president, came third with 16.5% support. In turn, conservative civil leader Luis Fernando Camacho attained 9.4%, followed by Korean evangelical pastor Chi Hyun Chung, with 5.4%.
A survey carried out in January by the Mercados y Muestras institute for the newspaper Página Siete had given 26% to Arce, considered the father of Bolivian economic stability. The economist was the country’s Minister of Economy and Finance on two occasions, between 2006 and 2017, and again in 2019.
On Twitter, Arce thanked “the support of the Bolivarian people […] in the countryside and in the cities.” Áñez, in a brief message on Twitter, also thanked “the confidence received,” while expressing her commitment to “put Bolivia first.”
The new survey, commissioned by the newspaper El Deber and the television station Unitel, interviewed 2,224 voters and was carried out between February 7 and 14 in the capitals of the country’s nine departments, with an error margin of 2.07%. Evo’s candidate led in the opinion polls in five departments: La Paz (west), Cochabamba (center), Potosí (southwest), Oruro (south) and Pando (north), while Áñez triumphs in Tarija (south) and Beni ( northeast), her homeland. Mesa receives greater support in Chuquisaca (southeast).
Going by the poll results, if the elections were held then, Arce and Mesa would have competed in the second round on June 14. The Constitution states that, to be elected in the first round, a candidate must obtain more than 40% of the valid votes, with an advantage of ten percentage points over the runner-up.
The May 3 elections were called extraordinarily after the October 10 election was canceled. An audit by the Organization of American States (OAS) found irregularities in favor of then-President Evo Morales, who had then been elected, albeit controversially for his fourth term in office. Morales, who had ruled Bolivia for almost 14 years since 2006, announced his resignation in November, pressured by the Armed Forces.
The former president described the forced resignation as a “coup d’etat,” sentiments that were echoed by several Latin American governments and politicians who were his close allies during his presidency. Nonetheless, other countries that were opposed to his governance, for instance America, fully recognized Áñez’s interim government and vowed to support and work with her.