Life After the Presidency

During last Monday’s resignation speech, Carlos Mesa was emphatic that he was not going to flee the country. He said that Bolivia was his home and he wants the privilege of living there. Now that he no longer holds the title of President, what’s next?

The last three Presidents are either still head of their political party (Jaime Paz Zamora – MIR), looking towards the next election (Tuto Quiroga – ADN), or in exile (Goni – MNR). Hugo Banzer passed away in May 2002.

Mesa’s case is different, as he is not a member of a political party, nor necessarily looking to get back into the race. Although there is a possibility that he could form his own political project for future participation in politics. However, he wasn’t very enthusiastic of the idea

“After 20 months, I don’t know if one would want to return to the Palace as President, it is difficult, very difficult,” he added when the press asked him whether he planned on establishing his own party to continue in politics.

But for now, he is just taking his time after nearly two years as President. He added he would like to begin a discussion on the media’s role in the most recent crisis, which would return him to his media and journalist role.

One suggestion: Mesa is a huge fanatico of football, as he was often seen at the Hernando Siles stadium during the Bolivian National Team games. Perhaps he should head up the Bolivian Football Federation and turn Bolivian football around. Having to deal with Mauro Cuellar (Bolivar’s President) would seem like a piece of cake in comparison to these past 20 months.

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2 thoughts on “Life After the Presidency

  1. Dear Eduardo,
    I think your blog is excellent. Very good information and commentary.
    What are your thoughts regarding this shadow government being set up in El Alto? I do not think the military will like this development. It seems these protest groups are getting desperate to grab power now. These groups seem intent on provoking Santa Cruz, etc.

  2. Thanks for the kind words.

    At this point, I think the shadow government is just a bunch of rhetoric. How would this government support itself? Surely not from the hydrocarbons in the Orient.

    Again, I don’t buy that the mobilizations in El Alto truly represent the large majority of that city. As seen in the Municipal Elections in 2004, the landslide winner for mayor (Jose Luis Paredes) is not a radical leftist, and is perhaps even more conservative than the La Paz mayor. MAS and the M-17 citizen group (Roberto de la Cruz) did not even come close to equaling Paredes’ vote count.

    Both sides need to find common ground. Appeasing one side would surely push the other to take undemocratic actions (autonomy de facto or another round of crippling blockades).

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