Socialist leader Evo Morales, a figurehead for Bolivia's coca farmers, was elected in 2005, in a major historical shift for his country. Describing himself as the candidate "of the most disdained and discriminated against", he was the first member of the indigenous majority to be elected president of Bolivia.
He was re-elected with a convincing majority over his conservative opponents in December 2009; his party also gained two-thirds majorities in both houses of parliament.
Mr Morales made poverty reduction, the redistribution of wealth, land reform favouring poorer peasants and public control over Bolivia's oil and gas resources his main priorities. He has nationalised much of the energy sector.
The president draws his support mainly from the poor indigenous majority, concentrated in the western highlands. Middle class voters and the eastern provinces, where most of the resource wealth lies, worry that his policies are too radical.
In 2009, voters overwhelmingly approved a new constitution drafted largely by Mr Morales' supporters, despite strong - and at times violent - opposition, mainly from in the eastern provinces.
The new basic law accords more rights to the indigenous majority, gives greater autonomy to the states and enshrines government control over key resources. It also allowed the president stand for a second five-year term in a row.
He courted further controversy in 2013 by obtaining supreme-court approval for a law to allow him to stand for a third term, on the grounds that the new constitution was passed in the middle of his first term which therefore did not count.
In 2011 Mr Morales' popularity had plummeted after he scrapped fuel subsidies only to perform a U-turn in response to protests, pushed ahead with a controversial Amazon road project and was then accused of excessive force against indigenous demonstrators protesting against the plan - a charge he denies.
Voters punished Mr Morales in elections to choose Bolivia's top judges in October, with about 60% spoiling their ballots.
Himself a former coca farmer, Mr Morales defends the traditional uses of coca leaf among the indigenous population, as distinct from its use as the raw material for cocaine.
His promise to relax restrictions on growing coca irritated the US, which has bankrolled the fight against drugs in the country. In 2008, he ordered US drug enforcement officials to leave Bolivia.
He has also alarmed the US by forging strong links with Venezuela's left-wing firebrand president, Hugo Chavez.
Born in 1959, Evo Morales is an Aymara Indian from an impoverished family. In his youth he was a llama herder and a trumpet player. The former coca grower lost the 2002 presidential election to the conservative, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.
He succeeded caretaker leader Eduardo Rodriguez, who took office in June 2005 when President Carlos Mesa resigned amid mass protests demanding the nationalisation of the energy sector.
- Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
- Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
- Country name > Conventional short form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
- Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
- Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
- Flag description: A written flag description produced from actual flags or the best information available at the time the entry was written. The flags of independent states are used by their dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local flag. Some disputed and other areas do not have flags.
- Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
- Independence: For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. "
- Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
- Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
- Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
- Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
- Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
- Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
"Bolivia Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Bolivia/Government
"Bolivia Government Stats, NationMaster." 1825-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Bolivia/Government>.
'Bolivia Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Bolivia/Government> [assessed 1825-2014]
"Bolivia Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1825-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Bolivia/Government>.
"Bolivia Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1825-2014.
"Bolivia Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Bolivia/Government (assessed 1825-2014)
"Bolivia Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Bolivia/Government (last visited 1825-2014)
"Bolivia Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Bolivia/Government (as of 1825-2014)