Only Opposition Governors Have Approval in Bolivia

Poll: According to a poll taken in nine Bolivian capital cities and in the city of El Alto, President Evo Morales is backed by 49% of the population, but is resisted in five cities. President Evo Morales' term is approved by just under half the inhabitants of the country, plus El Alto, according to a poll carried out by Captura Consulting in which 1400 people were questioned between July 19 and 25, 2010. According to this opinion poll, 49% of those consulted support the head of state while 44% disapprove of the government.

The results obtained by Morales are slightly higher than two months ago in a poll taken by Ipsos-Apoyo, in which the head of state was approved by 44% in the main cities at the national level (La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz de la Sierra).

However, according to this new poll, the President is strongly rejected by the cities that form the so-called "expanded half moon", meaning Sucre (80%), Tarija (63%), Cobija (60%), and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (53%). Most surprising was Potosí, where 51% indicated disapproval of the president's term.

According to some political scientists consulted, this rejection of Morales takes place in cities in which important political events have taken place, such as the destitution of the mayor of Sucre, Jaime Barrón, and in the capital cities of the departments in which historically the MAS has been rejected, with the exception of Trinidad (Beni) where Morales has balanced the scale.

In addition to increasing in the capital city of Beni (47% approve and 46% disapprove), the president ratified his popularity in El Alto (69%), Cochabamba (59%), La Paz (50%), and Oruro (50%).

According to MAS congressman Edwin Tupa, the data reflect the poor performance of some ministries. "I don't think this is how the people perceive the President," he said, and added that it is important to improve budget execution to increase popular support. Tupa recalled that one week ago President Morales instructed ministers to work more due to low budget execution.

According to Júnior Panto, a political scientist, the president's losses in the polls show that discontent with Morales' current term is increasing, as he won December elections last year with over 60% of the votes.

"In the future the tendency is that the government will lose more public backing, as reflected in the polls," he indicated, although he pointed out that the data represent the reality of the moment. Data were collected while the government was approving the Autonomy and Decentralization Law, while also attempting to halt the indigenous march that was headed from Trinidad to La Paz. In addition, the issue regarding German citizen Dirk Schmidt has just begun.

Senator for Cochabamba, Bernard Gutiérrez, of the Plan Progreso party, believes the results reflect the polarization that Morales is generating in the country, while opposition senator Gerald Ortiz believes the data will not improve and explains that these are the result of constant problems within the Executive Branch.

Read this article in Spanish

Source: El Deber
Date: 1 August 2010

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