Luis Arce calls MAS congress “forced” and an attack on social organizations

La Paz, Oct 3 (EFE).- The president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, referred to the congress of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) as “forced,” as it began on Tuesday.

Arce did not participate because he considers that social organizations are not adequately represented in the meeting of the ruling party.

Arce participated on Tuesday in an emergency meeting of the Interculturales to discuss political issues given the meeting called by the Unity Pact, which brings together the central peasant and indigenous organizations, for next October 17 in El Alto, a city next to La Paz.

This meeting was held at the same time that the MAS congress was inaugurated in the town of Lauca Ñ, in Cochabamba, the political and union stronghold of former president Evo Morales, in which the Unity Pact and several organizations decided not to participate, as did Arce and his vice-president, David Choquehuanca.

“It is an outrage to the social organizations that, in reality, are being stripped of their political instrument. There is a lack of respect for social organizations. Their foundational character is not taken into account”, expressed Arce.

He added that “there can be no manipulation” and that social organizations “cannot be used for their ends” and pointed out that they will always watch over the “community good.”

He questioned that only five representatives from each organization were summoned, such as the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB), the largest union in the country, the Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos (CSUTCB), the Confederación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas Indígenas Originarias “Bartolina Sisa,” the Interculturales, among others.

The president said that he had felt the discomfort and “inconformity” of many for not being considered for the meeting.

“Today we unfortunately have a congress that does not reflect the composition of the MAS-IPSP (Movimiento al Socialismo – Instrumento Político por la Soberanía de los Pueblos), which are our social organizations,” insisted Arce.

He also pointed out that it is “very worrying” that in the MAS congress, the “political instrument is ceasing to be” the same one for which they have “fought” and “worked.”

After the questioned 2019 elections that were annulled due to irregularities, amid allegations of fraud in favor of the then president and an alleged “coup d’état,” Morales resigned and went to Mexico, then to Argentina, and returned a year later to Bolivia.

Arce and Morales, the maximum leader of MAS, are estranged amid internal tensions in the ruling party that began at the end of 2021 in the face of the former president’s requests to change some ministers that the president has ignored.

The MAS congress, which started Tuesday and will last until October 5, opened another front of division in the ruling party, to which was added the recent announcement by Morales that he will be a candidate in 2025, to which those close to Arce maintained that the ruling party’s aspiration must be defined in the primaries next year. EFE


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