With four months until the Bolivian General Elections scheduled for October 12, a recent opinion poll showed increasing support for current leftist President Evo Morales.
The poll by the Bolivian firm Ipsos, Apoyo, Opinión y Mercado shows Morales, Bolivia´s first democratically-elected Aymara indigenous President enjoying 73% popular support for his administration, an increase of 13 points since last year.
Before being elected President in 2006, Morales had a long standing history of leadership and organizing, having been a coca farmer and later a trade unionist. Morales participated in Bolivian movements challenging the U.S. War on Drugs, advocating for land reform as well as the redistribution of gas wealth. As President Morales has continued to focus on these issues among others that largely impact indigenous and poor Bolivians.
Extreme poverty in Bolivia has also dropped considerably from 38% in 2005 to 20% in 2013, improving living conditions for approximately two million Bolivians.
The poll showed a significant increase in the department of Santa Cruz, a region that has historically opposed Morales´ progressive government. In Santa Cruz popular support achieved 68% with 15% disapproval.
In the capital of La Paz, Morales reached a 76% approval rating, whereas in El Alto 83% of those polled support the Morales government. In Cochabamba, approval rating reached 66% with 29% disapproval.
The poll also surveyed popularity regarding Vicepresident Álvaro García Linera who achieved an overall 60% approval. According to the same Bolivian polling company, Morales closed 2012 with 55% approval rising to 60% at the end of 2013.
This past Friday, thousands of cooperative miners marched to support the candidacy of Morales and García in the upcoming general elections. The miners also ratified their support for the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), Morales´ political party.
Under Morales´ government, Bolivia has also been at the forefront of protecting and guaranteeing the rights of the environment. In 2010, Bolivia´s Plurinational Legislative Assembly passed the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth proclaiming Mother Earth as "a collective subject of public interest," guaranteeing the earth and other life-systems as legal titleholders to rights defined by the law.