The polls in Bolivia were open today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Only authorized motorized vehicles were allowed out. All stores were closed. This produced an calm over Cochabamba. Sundays are usually quiet, but today’s election make it into a ghost town. The kids were out on their bikes, and an occasional official car sped past… most mostly the streets were quiet.
It was in response to the violence at the beginning of the year that the Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, proposed a referendum on whether he should remain president. He also stipulated that the people should also be able to choose if their departmental prefects (like state governors in the States) should be able to stay.
For a while, this did calm things down. Then, when different people saw the polls, they came out either in favor or against the referendum. Then there was a lot of bickering about to measure success and so forth. As late as last week, there was some doubt whether the referendum would be held.
There were only two questions: whether the president and vice president should stay in office, and whether the local prefect should stay in office.
Now, the people have spoken. In this difficultly divided country, there is no chance that everyone will be pleased with the results. We will see what will happen in the upcoming days.