It’s almost official. Former president Carlos Mesa will likely be one of Evo Morales’ chief rivals in the presidential elections tentatively scheduled for December 2009. Responding to questions by reporters in Lima, he said that if there will be elections (if and when the new Constitution passes), he will be a candidate.
My early take is that Mesa is the *only* candidate that can come close to rivaling Morales’ support. Now Santa Cruz must decide whether to support Mesa or live with more years of Evo. If you recall, Mesa was Santa Cruz’ number one enemy long before Evo took the helm. It was Mesa’s iniciative that propelled autonomy with the election of regional governors. Neither Costas, nor Manfred can attract those middle class voters that opted for change, but are disappointed in the direction of the current administration. I also doubt that all of the 50-60% of Bolivians that approved of his work at the time of his resignation have changed their mind.