By Courtney Mathos, Tracy Paver, & Kevin White
Yesterday, Bolivians went to the polls to elect a new president, vice president, and 166 members of Congress. This vote comes one year after Bolivia had initially set re-run elections. In October 2019, then-president Evo Morales sought a controversial fourth term and had to flee the country amid chaos, conflict, and accusations of fraud. He soon resigned and was forced to live in exile in Argentina. Morales was also barred from running for political office.
Still, Bolivia is struggling to regain stability. Many thought that the interim president, Jeanine Añez, would offer some peace for their country in a time of great turmoil; however, she leveraged her newfound position to announce a run for the presidency and go after her rivals. Añez has since bowed out to allow opposition parties to band together against the ever-popular Movement Towards Socialism party (MAS), Evo Morales’ party. There is real fear that if the MAS candidate wins, it could pave the way for Morales to return from exile.
Bolivia announced that election results would not be released until all ballots were counted, which could take up to a week. Many expect violent uprisings, especially if MAS does not win.
Kevin White, missionary to Bolivia, penned the following words:
It always saddens me to hear about the corruption and deceit in the Bolivian government. I heard it once said that if you want to know the condition of a country or people, look at the government they elect. I believe that if we are ever going to see lasting change in Bolivia, it will not be accomplished by politics or politicians. The only hope lies in reaching people with the gospel. The gospel changes people. And changed people will elect a government that reflects their new values and affects their country’s economic, political, and social condition. At the heart of all this instability and corruption in Bolivia is a need for gospel truth.
Pray with us for the gospel to go forth and change lives in Bolivia. Pray for the missionaries serving in Bolivia to start more churches and reach more people. Pray that the Lord will supply the support needed to do even more. And pray that He will raise many more laborers for the harvest in Bolivia.