Juan Perez Munguia / La Paz
“The PS1 cannot die, brothers. We have always defended our party in university forums, we have maintained Marcelo’s principles and we have always been unwavering in the fight,” said President Luis Arce, at the Socialist Party 1 (PS1) congress on May 1, 2021.
In addition to attending this activity, the president usually evokes Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz, who led that political force, and generally expresses his condolences on his networks when a leader of that acronym dies. Recently, on Labor Day, when a march was held in Oruro, Arce, from the box, greeted the PS1 column affectionately.
In the 2021 act, he recalled that in his university days he was a militant of that acronym, and that he even acted as security for one of the national leaders.
In addition, he indicated that he was always in contact with those who were executives of the extinct party. He commented that in the campaign for the 2020 elections, he received, on several occasions, the visit of those who were members of the leftist acronym.
“I always come to our roots, to the Socialist Party 1 (…). During the campaign Eduardo (Pardo) and my party colleagues visited me. We were cornered there, entrenched, with seven trials, a persecution. But they always remind us of the teachings and learning that we have had from PS1, during our youth, which has been very important to be able to face everything, ”he asserted.
In his Telegram account, the president spreads messages referring to PS1. Among them are those that commemorate the birth of Quiroga Santa Cruz and other important dates.
Another fact that demonstrates his closeness to the Socialist Party is the appointment of Eduardo Pardo as Bolivian ambassador to Cuba, in July 2021. The diplomat died last February and caused deep sorrow in the circle close to Arce. Pardo was a senior leader of the aforementioned political organization.
The head of state also showed his affinity during the recent “Worker’s Day” parade, when he warmly greeted the members of the acronym as they passed through the presidential box.
Arce is currently a registered member of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) and is not far from the political line of this party, which is led by Evo Morales.
Rimmy Gonzales, departmental executive secretary of PS1 in Oruro, declared that the organization already has its statutes and will do the paperwork to obtain its status.
The acronym aims to comply with the procedures before the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to participate in the general elections of 2025 and in the subnational elections of 2026. This as an alternative to the leftist party in the country.
Executive Gonzales announced that the national leadership of PS1 had three meetings with President Arce. He recalled that in the congress they had in the past administration, he encouraged them to reconstitute the party and gave them advice for the legal status procedures.
“We have understood that the PS1 is the political alternative, under the principles of Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz. (…) We have seen comrade Arce committed to PS1, we have had about three meetings at the national level with comrade Arce and with the national executive secretariat”, he detailed.
Gonzales pointed out that they anticipate that on July 17, the date on which Quiroga’s death is remembered, the filling of books will begin to obtain legal status at the national level. He explained that they already have a structure in most of the country’s departments.
With reference to who could be his candidate for the elections, the executive did not rule out the possibility of inviting the president so that he can run for re-election with PS1. Likewise, he asserted that since politics is dynamic, there may also be the possibility of an alliance with the MAS.
“We are organic. Our bases will define who will go as a candidate in the 2025 elections. Politics is dynamic, we do not rule out any alliance, we respect the structure that the MAS has. (…) Surely, comrade Arce could also be invited, but that will be defined by our militancy in the future”, he emphasized.
Milton Soliz, leader of a faction of PS1 not so close to Arce, also assured that they are in the process of obtaining their legal status again at the national level.
“We already have the statutes, the declaration of principles and the political thesis,” he explained.
Without the weight of Marcelo
Roger Cortez, former leader of PS1, recalled that the acronym was dissolved in 1991, for which the party does not exist today. He pointed out that if they remove their personality, the front will be very far from the memory of Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz.
“If they want to reactivate the PS1 they have to comply with the administrative procedures, if they manage to obtain legal status, their past from 78 to 91 will appear in that organization as a distant historical reference, especially the figure of Marcelo. His cover letter will have nothing to do with that root”, he maintained.
Likewise, Cortez said that he does not remember that the dignitary was a member of the Socialist Party, during the time of social struggle and the military dictatorship.
“President Arce seems to have been a supporter, but not a militant, less so in the underground and in the resistance struggle. He was an official of the Central Bank. He says that he has been linked to the PS1; at that time he must have been a student in economics. But speaking with leaders, the maximum reference I have is that Arce was a supporter, “he added.
Re-election by the PS1
The political scientist Carlos Cordero considers that the PS1 could be the acronym by which the head of state goes for re-election. This is in case there is a refusal by the MAS militancy and Morales’ insistence on being a candidate in 2025.
“The facts show the construction of Arce’s leadership with a view to 2025. Arce only has a moral obligation to the MAS, but nothing ties him to the party. If the MAS structures do not bless him for re-election, he will go with another acronym, the possibility of a fracture in the MAS increases, because there will be a faction that wants Morales as a candidate. Arce will say: ‘it’s fine, if they don’t want me as a candidate, I have PS1,’” the analyst stressed.
Cordero: Arce believes that it can be the continuity of Marcelo
The PS1 cannot die, brothers, (…), we have maintained the principles of Marcelo (Quiroga Santa Cruz)
Luis Arce, President
We have seen Comrade Arce committed to PS1, we have had about three meetings with Comrade Arce
Rimmy Gonzales, PS1
Luis Arce believes that it may be the continuity of the ideological and political thought of Marcelo Quiroga
Carlos Cordero, analyst