LA PAZ, Bolivia ( Associated Press) — Former Bolivian President Evo Morales decided to go on the offensive against the government of his political heir Luis Arce and publicly criticized him for the lack of works and the permanence in office of the Minister of Government, whom he has harshly questioned.
Backed by the main coca growers union, of which he is the head, Morales said that he sent a letter to Arce to evaluate the management of the head of the Government, Eduardo del Castillo. “I heard from colleagues that works are not arriving. First time I hear that works are not coming,” Morales said from a coca growers radio station in the central region of Bolivia.
Another union in the Morales region threatened to start protests with roadblocks if Arce does not listen to the request to remove the head of government, whom Morales accuses of poor management.
Morales is the leader of the ruling Movement for Socialism (MAS) that controls the majority in the Legislative Assembly, but last week he lost a political battle by failing to get lawmakers to censure del Castillo.
Arce supported his minister’s management on Monday during a public ceremony and avoided commenting on the discrepancies in his government. Official leaders recognized the disputes, but rejected that there are divisions.
For the minority and divided political opposition, the disputes are motivated by power struggles and by the leadership of the ruling party with a view to the 2025 presidential elections. Arce is eligible to run for consecutive re-election.
Arce was the brains behind Morales’ economic model that gave the country stability and growth during the commodity boom, and as president he has followed his mentor’s policy with a statist economy.
After more than a decade in power (2006-2019), Morales resigned in 2019 in the midst of a social outbreak that cost the lives of 37 people after accusations by the OAS of electoral fraud in the elections of that year in which he was seeking a fourth consecutive term. Upon his return from exile, he resumed the leadership of the main coca growers’ union and the MAS.