Bolivians voted Sunday on an amendment that would allow sitting president Evo Morales to run for a fourth term in 2019. Morales, who took office in 2006, officially ends his term in 2020. As the results trickle in, it appears that a little over half (adjust accordingly for corruption, of course) of the country rejected Morales’s piecemeal attempt to create an eternal fiefdom in La Paz.
Morales is a populist’s populist. He does not like to tie his own shoes, he legalized child labor, and he knows the difference between an imperialist and a good buddy. He also knows, as all good populists do, that economic success does not come overnight. Sometimes it does not even come in one’s lifetime, which was the rationale this now longest-serving leader in Bolivia’s history used for a 2025 extension. Bolivia, for all its problems, has seen a growth in GDP–a trend, Morales argues, that can only continue under his rule.