The president could have done a lot more, Zelada said. He is considering voting for Mr. Mesa.

Mr Morales’ party staged its last election campaign this week in El Alto, a MAS stronghold perched above the capital. It was a block party, and hundreds, if not thousands, attended. Women in traditional skirts gathered under fireworks as their husbands spilled beers on the floor, an offering to Mother Earth.

Many voters there had something positive to say about Mr Morales, whose face glistened with the blue party flags that crisscrossed the avenue on strings.

But there were also signs of the decline in popularity of the former leader.

María Flores, 42, stood on the edge of the party. Ms Flores, a traveling saleswoman and mother of three, said she appreciated what Mr Morales had done for indigenous women like her. Many had stepped into professional roles in recent years and she was proud.

“We have always been treated badly,” she said. “Now not so much.”

But she was tired of Mr Morales’ mistakes, especially his decision to run for a third and then a fourth term. “He did good things,” she said, “but please rest.”

She will support Mr. Arce, she said, but only because he had promised to move on.

“If he comes back,” she said of Mr. Morales, “the people of El Alto will rise up. We want someone else.

The report was written by María Silvia Trigo from Tarija, Bolivia.

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