Nationalist Democratic Action
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2012)|
|Nationalist Democratic Action
Acción Democrática Nacionalista
|Founded||23 March 1979|
|Colors||Red, black and white|
|Politics of Bolivia
Nationalist Democratic Action (in Spanish: Acción Democrática Nacionalista) is a right-wing political party in Bolivia led by Jorge Quiroga. ADN was founded on March 23, 1979 by the military dictator Hugo Banzer after he stepped down from power. It later expanded to include the Revolutionary Left Party (PIR) and a faction of the Bolivian Socialist Falange (FSB). As leader of the ADN, Banzer ran in the 1979, 1980, 1985, 1989, 1993, and 1997 presidential elections. He obtained third place in 1979 and 1980, and won a plurality of the 1985 vote, but, since he did not attain the 50% necessary for direct election, Congress (in accordance with the Bolivian Constitution) selected the chief executive. Its choice was the second-place finisher, Dr. Víctor Paz Estenssoro.
Banzer's party at that point opted for supporting the MNR in a coalition government. Indeed, ADN would go on to claim authorship to some of the most important neoliberal economic reforms instituted by President Pazto curb galloping hyperinflation, repress the ever-troublesome labor unions[weasel words], and reduce the size of the government. Banzer finished second in the 1989 elections, but supported in Congress the third-place finisher, the left-leaning Jaime Paz Zamora, who became President with ADN help. Again the party governed as the main support of a ruling coalition, this time under Paz Zamora. Banzer's ADN again finished second in 1993, this time to the MNR's Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada.
Finally, in 1997 Banzer Suárez achieved his dream of becoming constitutionally-elected President of Bolivia, at the age of 71. He was the first former dictator in Latin America's recent history to transition successfully to democratic politics and return to power by way of the ballot box[verification needed]. During his tenure, he launched, under the guidelines outlined by the United States, a program to fight drug-trafficking in Bolivia, which called for the eradication of coca, a controversial strategy. He also had some trouble with the unions, but nonetheless did his best to rule in a conciliatory and non-arbitrary manner. In 2001 he was diagnosed with lung cancer, and even though he had earned a five-year term (he had himself agitated to legally enlarge the presidential term) Banzer resigned on August 7, 2001. He was succeeded by his Vice-President, Jorge Quiroga. Banzer's health declined rapidly thereafter, and he died on May 5, 2002.
Quiroga then became leader and heir apparent of the ADN, but when he ran for President in the 2005 elections, he did so as the candidate for a new right-of-center coalition known as Social and Democratic Power (PODEMOS), which included the bulk of Banzer's former ADN organization. His main opponent was the leftist Evo Morales of the Movement Towards Socialism. Morales won the election and Quiroga finished a distant second place, receiving 28.6% of the vote. Currently, it appears that ADN has become a defunct former party, replaced by Quiroga's new PODEMOS organization, although its structures, ideology, and supporters remain basically the same.