Bolivia will hold its presidential election on October 18 after previous delays due to the coronavirus disease (CVOID-19) pandemic. The election comes after last year's presidential election was annulled due to widespread protests over the results which led to the ousting of President Evo Morales. If no candidate receives the required 50 percent of the vote or 40 percent with a ten-point lead, a run-off election will be held on November 29. Seven candidates will run in the election, although only three have significant support. Luis Arce of Morales' former party Movement for Socialism (MAS) leads the polls with 30 percent at the time of writing, suggesting a run-off is likely.
Whilst the outcome of the election currently remains unpredictable, any controversy in the result could lead to a return of the scenes of widespread unrest witnessed in November last year. Protesters in Bolivia often use roadblocks as a key tool, so disruptions to overland transport should be anticipated in the vicinity of any unrest. A heightened security presence is expected in the build-up to, during, and in the aftermath of the election.
Those in Bolivia are advised to monitor the situation, remain vigilant due to the threat of electoral-related protests, avoid the vicinity of political gatherings or demonstrations, refrain from discussing politically sensitive topics in public, and heed all directives issued by local authorities.
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