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EL ALTO, Bolivia – Bolivian President Evo Morales seems certain to win an unprecedented third term in Sunday's presidential elections. He's become such an institution that stadiums, markets, schools, state enterprises and even a village have been named in his honor.
The country's first indigenous president long ago capitalized on his everyman origins, anti-imperialist rhetoric and his party's consolidation of control over state institutions. But his staying power may best be credited to the country's accompanying economic and political stability.
Since Morales first took office in 2006, a boom in commodities prices has increased export revenues ninefold, the country has accumulated $15.5 billion in international reserves and economic growth has averaged 5 percent annually, well above the regional average.