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24 March 2017 12:04 (South Africa)

Evo Morales is favourite in Bolivian presidential election

President Evo Morales, the leader at odds with Washington (similar to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela), but popular at home with its long-suppressed indigenous majority, is expected to sail to re-election this week. Supporters say his victory would lead to further revolutionary change, but his opponents say Morales will use this new term to trample on the population’s human rights. Bolivians are also going to select a new congress and Morales’ party hopes to win a two-thirds majority so it can pass a new law on indigenous territorial self-rule. Such a win would also allow Morales to amend Bolivia’s constitution and run for a third straight term. Morales leads in the polls by 55%. He began as a llama-herder's son, a fiery coca-growers' union organiser and has championed a new deal for Bolivia's Indians at the expense of wealthy ranchers and farmers centred in the eastern lowlands of the country. For more, read the AP and the New York Times

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