Bolivian general election, 1951

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General elections were held in Bolivia on 6 May 1951.[1] Víctor Paz Estenssoro of the opposition Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR) received the most votes in the presidential election, but as he did not obtain an absolute majority, the National Congress was constitutionally obliged to elect a President on 6 August from the three candidates who received the most public votes. However, on 16 May a military junta assumed responsibility for the Government with Brigadier General Hugo Ballivián as President.

The National Congress was ultimately dissolved by Supreme Decree of 7 June, 1951, which annulled the results of the elections.[2]


The Republican Socialist Unity Party (PURS) and the Social Democratic Party (PSD) formed the Social Democratic Action alliance to contest the election, with Gabriel Gosalvez of PURS running for President and Roberto Arce of the PSD running for Vice-President.



Candidate Party Votes %
Víctor Paz Estenssoro Revolutionary Nationalist Movement 54,129 42.9
Gabriel Gosalvez Republican Socialist Unity Party 40,381 32.0
Bernardino Bilbao Rioja Bolivian Socialist Falange 13,259 10.5
Guillermo Gutiérrez Vea Murguía Bolivian Civic Action 6,654 5.3
Tomás Manuel Elío Liberal Party 6,530 5.2
José Antonio Arze Revolutionary Left Party 5,170 4.1
Invalid/blank votes
Total 126,123 100
Registered voters/turnout 204,649
Source: Nohlen


Candidate Party Votes %
Hernán Siles Zuazo Revolutionary Nationalist Movement 52,602 43.2
Roberto Arce Social Democratic Party 38,202 31.4
Alfredo Flores Bolivian Socialist Falange 12,397 10.2
Julio Salmón Bolivian Civic Action 6,778 5.6
Bailón Mercado Liberal Party 6,558 5.4
Abelardo Villalpando Retamozo Revolutionary Left Party 5,093 4.2
Invalid/blank votes
Total 121,630 100
Registered voters/turnout 204,649
Source: OEP


  1. ^ Nohlen, D (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume II, p133 ISBN 978-0-19-928358-3
  2. ^ Political Handbook of the World 1956, New York, 1956. p14