Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, has now served the longest uninterrupted spell in office in Bolivia’s often-turbulent 190 years as an independent nation.
Evo Morales celebrated the milestone Wednesday with a ceremony in which he made an offering to the Andean earth goddess, Pachamama.
Morales took over as president on January 22 2006, he has now served nine years, eight months and 27 days, surpassing the term of independence hero Andres de Santa Cruz, who governed from 1829 to 1839.
Morales is still short of the overall mark set by Victor Paz Estenssoro, who spent 12 years in office during three separate presidential terms.
But the 55-year-old leader is on track to surpass that as well. His third term ends in 2020 and backers are trying to amend the constitution so he can be elected yet again.
“I’m very satisfied, happy and still full of strength to keep going and ensure a definite liberation for Bolivia, which we can share with the rest of the world,” the president added in a 45 minute speech.
During his time as president, Morales has more than doubled Bolivia’s GDP from $9 billion in 2005 to $33 billion recorded last year, Peru’s El Comercio reports.
He attributes this “miracle” to the sheer fact that he is “anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist.”
The president has come under recent scrutiny due to his drive of interests into the country’s oil and gas markets.