Political parties

From Bolivian Politics

All political parties must register with the National Electoral Court (CNE). Recent constitutional changes allow civic associations and indigenous communities to register and run slates of candidates in municipal, departmental, and national elections. Some of the orgaqnizations registered with the CNE are more appropriately considered electoral fronts, electoral alliances, or civic groups; for simplicity, they are all referred to here as "parties."

Bolivia has, for much of its recent post-democratization history, had a multiparty system. Until 2002, the party system was dominated by three to five medium-sized parties. Seats in the National Congress are (since 1997) elected in a mixed-member proportional electoral system. Before 2005, no presidential candidate won a simple majority, and coalition governments were the norm. Recently, the party system has become dominated by two electoral parties: MAS and PODEMOS.


Major parties

Only four parties won legislative seats in the 2005 general election: MAS, PODEMOS, MNR, and UN. A total of twenty parties won delegate seats in the 2006 constituent assembly election; some of those parties are only regional parties, running candidates in only one of the country's nine departments.

National parties

The following political parties have presence in all nine departments.

Regional parties

The following parties have presence in only one department.

Minor parties

The following parties did not elect delegates in the most recent 2006 constituent assembly election.

Parties that have lost legal status

The following parties lost their legal status after the 2006 constituent assembly election.

The following parties lost their legal status after the 2005 general election.

Ideological classification

Because of the country's strong populist legacy, Bolivian parties are often difficult to categorize by ideology. Likewise, many parties officially declare themselves as "nationalist" or national revolutionary parties, regardless of where they fit on a left-right spectrum. Nevertheless, parties can be classified into the following categories:

A final type are the personalist parties, which are both difficult to classify on any spectrum and quite common on Bolivian politics. A variety of political parties display a strong element of personalism, but the term is reserved for those that are almost purely personalist political vehicles.

See also

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