A Tall Order Awaits Bolivia’s New President

MIN READOct 27, 2020 | 19:22 GMT

Bolivia's president-elect, Luis Arce, celebrates his electoral victory during a rally in El Alto, Bolivia on Oct. 24, 2020.

(AIZAR RALDES/AFP via Getty Images)

Luis Arce, the presidential candidate from Bolivia's Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party, won more than 50 percent of the vote in the South American country's long-delayed election, which will facilitate a smooth power transition by eliminating the need for a runoff. Arce’s initial success and ability to attract fresh foreign investment, however, will hinge on creating and executing a credible plan for Bolivia’s post-pandemic economic recovery. On Oct. 20, Arce unveiled some of the economic measures he plans to tackle first upon taking office, including the immediate distribution of emergency funds to all Bolivians (which his own party had blocked the past three months), a proposed new wealth tax for the richest Bolivians, and the start of negotiations with international lenders to restructure Bolivia’s foreign debt. To shore up support for these measures, Arce will seek to leverage the policy successes he achieved between 2006-2019 as Bolivia's finance minister. But...

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