- Title: Violence mars campaign close at fraught Bolivia elections
- Date: 16th October 2019
- Summary: MESA SUPPORTERS AT RALLY MESA SUPPORTER WITH ANTI-MORALES PLACARD
- Embargoed: 30th October 2019 04:52
- Keywords: Evo Morales Bolivia campaign violence election Carlos Mesa
- Location: SANTA CRUZ + LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- City: SANTA CRUZ + LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA005B1CJLMV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Violence broke out in Santa Cruz, Bolivia on Tuesday (October 15) night near the campaign closing rally for the incumbent President Evo Morales, amidst anger in the Latin American country as Morales eyes a fourth term in office.
Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, has won all three terms in crowded first-round elections, with more than 60% in the two most recent votes during a period of rapid economic growth in the landlocked country. While Morales is popular in rural areas neglected by previous governments, his support has slipped in cities where government abuse is a bigger concern.
He is under fire for seeking another term in defiance of constitutional term limits and a national referendum that voted against him being able to do so.
But speaking to supporters at his final rally ahead of the election, Morales denounced his critics as going against the country.
Morales is likely to win the first round on Oct. 20, according to a poll from the Universidad Mayor de San AndrÃ©s (UMSA) and other academic and civil organisations.
However, the margin over the second place candidate, Carlos Mesa, would be sufficiently narrow to warrant a second round head-to-head. Mesa, who leads the Citizen Community alliance, is predicted to get around 27% of the first-round vote.
Rallying his supporters in La Paz, Mesa told supporters a vote for him would strengthen democracy in the country.
If Morales does not win 40% of votes with a 10-point lead over the runner-up, likely Mesa, the two will face off in a second round head-to-head on Dec. 15.
(Production: Monica Machicao, Paul Vieira, Santiago Limachi, Sergio Limachi)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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