The MAS presidential victory in Bolivia : a call for political renewal and the changing role of the media
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The economic and political models in Bolivia have failed to respond to the continuing economic need of impoverished Bolivians and to provide Bolivians with meaningful representative democracy. Evo Morales’ ability to garner nearly 54 percent of the popular vote in the 2005 presidential elections demonstrated a clear mandate and a demand for political and economic renewal. Morales won due to a combined loss of faith in the political parties’ ability to create economic opportunities within the neoliberal model imposed in 1985 and disillusion with endemic corruption and clientelism. The ethnic question also weighed heavily in Morales’ victory. This thesis will examine the combination combination of factors that led to the surprising outcome to the elections, as well as the changing role of the press in Bolivia. Calls for improved ethical standards and press freedoms have occurred alongside the political openings that led to Morales’ victory. The country still struggles to ensure a free press in the face of increasing incidences of attacks and intimidation against reporters, yet with the recent political renewal there are signs of progress towards higher journalistic standards.