Bolivian president Evo Morales is set to be re-elected for the third term, with exit poll results showing Morales winning 60% of the vote. A socialist by nature, Morales has been credited with bringing economic and political stability to his country.
“We are going to keep growing and we are going to continue the process of economic liberation,” said the triumphant president, dedicating his victory speech to Cuba’s Fidel Castro and the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
Bolivia’s gross domestic product has tripled from when Morales took office in 2006 to over US$30 billion in 2013. The national economy grew more than 6% last year and ECLAC expects the country’s economic output to grow in excess of 5% in 2014.
Much of the Bolivian government’s money comes from the mineral resources it exports to neighboring countries such as Brazil and Argentina. Sharing this mineral wealth has been the key to Morales’ success in lifting millions of Bolivians out of poverty.
Unlike Hugo Chavez, the Bolivian leader wants to use modern technology to propel his country. Bolivia recently launched a satellite to extent Internet access to rural schools and Morales has promised to generate nuclear power to provide electricity for the capital La Paz.
As a result of the education campaign that the president launched, UNESCO has declared Bolivia free of illiteracy.
However, the biggest drawback to Morale’s rule has been the country’s dependency on mineral wealth. Many indigenous groups are protesting around the country over mining and analysts say the growing prosperity could come to an abrupt end should the price of Bolivia’s raw materials drop.