Morales was first elected President of Bolivia on December 18, 2005, with 53.7% of the popular vote (approximately 45% of the electorate) in an election that saw the participation of 84.5% of the national electorate. Two and a half years later he substantially increased this majority; in a recall referendum on August 14, 2008, more than two thirds of voters voted to keep him in office.Morales won presidential elections again in December 2009 by 63% and continued to his second term of presidency.Morales is a self described Democratic socialist.
|President of Bolivia|
January 22, 2006
|Vice President||Álvaro García Linera|
|Preceded by||Eduardo Rodríguez|
|Born||26 October 1959 (1959-10-26) (age 50)
Orinoca, Oruro, Bolivia
|Religion||Roman Catholicism / Incanism|
Morales is the leader of a political party called the Movement for Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo, with the Spanish acronym MAS, meaning "more"). MAS was involved in social protests such as the gas conflict and the Cochabamba protests of 2000, along with many other groups, that are collectively referred to as "social movements" in Bolivia. The MAS aims at giving more power to the country's indigenous and poor communities by means of land reforms and redistribution of gas wealth.
Morales is also titular president of Bolivia's cocalero movement – a loose federation of coca growers' unions, made up of campesinos (rural laborers) who are resisting the efforts of the United States government to eradicate coca in the province of Chapare in central Bolivia.
Morales was born in the highlands of Orinoca, Oruro. He is of indigenous Aymara descent. He was one of seven children born to Dionisio Morales Choque and Maria Mamani; only Morales and two of his siblings survived past childhood. He grew up in an adobe house with a straw roof that was "no more than three by four meters." At age six, he traveled with his father to Argentina to work in the sugar cane harvest. As is customary for the Aymara people, his parents made offerings of coca leaves and alcohol to mother earth, or Pachamama. At the age of 12, he accompanied his father in herding llamas from Oruro to the province of Independencia in Cochabamba.