- Title: Bolivia's Carlos Mesa votes in presidential election
- Date: 20th October 2019
- Summary: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (OCTOBER 20, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** GENERAL VIEW OF EXTERIOR OF VOTING CENTRE, QUEUE OF VOTERS VOTERS IN QUEUE INTERIOR OF VOTING CENTRE, ELECTORAL WORKER HOLDING BLANK BALLOT BEFORE GIVING TO VOTER ELECTORAL WORKERS LOOKING OVER LIST OF VOTERS ELECTORAL WORKER HOLDING BLANK BALLOT BEFORE GIVING TO VOTER BOLIVIAN WOMAN PLACING HER BALLOT INSIDE THE BOX FORMER PRESIDENT AND SECOND PLACE CANDIDATE CARLOS MESA WAITING TO APPROACH TABLE TO OBTAIN BALLOT SO HE CAN VOTE MESA GREETING ELECTORAL WORKERS AT TABLE POLICE AND SOLDIER MESA WAVING AT JOURNALISTS, WAITING TO VOTE MESA RETURNING FROM VOTING BOOTH, WALKING TOWARDS BALLOT BOX GENERAL VIEW OF MESA HOLDING BALLOT AS HE PREPARES TO DROP INTO BALLOT BOX MESA'S HAND DROPPING BALLOT INTO BOX MESA HOLDING UP THUMB AFTER DIPPING IT IN INK (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FORMER PRESIDENT AND SECOND PLACE CANDIDATE CARLOS MESA SAYING: "(I hope for) our elections to be not only clean, which is a subject that we could talk about, but above all else peaceful. Independent of the deep differences that we have among all Bolivians, I believe that we have a strong conviction for democracy." GENERAL VIEW OF MESA SURROUNDED BY JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FORMER PRESIDENT AND SECOND PLACE CANDIDATE CARLOS MESA SAYING: "Evo Morales will not win the elections so there is nothing to discuss. We believe that we will win these elections. I do not trust the process. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal has demonstrated that they are a branch of the government, sadly, and our mistrust (of them) is very high." GENERAL VIEW OF MESA WALKING AWAY MESA POSING FOR PHOTOS WITH SUPPORTERS VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF VOTING CENTRE, PEOPLE IN QUEUE, SOLDIERS ON SITE ELECTORAL WORKER WATCHING PROCESS GENERAL VIEW OF VOTER CHECKING IN ELECTORAL WORKER CHECKING VOTER'S DOCUMENTS ELECTORAL WORKER HOLDING UP BALLOT TO DEMONSTRATE THAT IT IS BLANK BEFORE GIVING IT TO VOTER VOTER LEAVING BOOTH, PLACING BALLOT IN BOX, SIGNS DOCUMENTS
- Embargoed: 3rd November 2019 16:25
- Keywords: Bolivia Carlos Mesa opposition candidate voting election Evo Morales
- Location: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- City: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001B1WIWCN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: FULL HD QUALITY
Bolivia's former president Carlos Mesa voted on Sunday (October 20) in an election to decide whether to extend the rule of President Evo Morales to nearly two decades or oust the great survivor of South America's "pink tide" of leftist leaders.
Mesa, the leading opposition candidate, who resigned the presidency in 2005, has campaigned on a platform of saving Bolivia's democracy from Morales, whom he has portrayed as a power-hungry autocrat.
Morales, whose campaign slogan is "Secure Future," has fanned fears that Mesa would seek support from the International Monetary Fund, and warned about recent unrest in Ecuador and Argentina over unpopular loan deals with the IMF.
In his favour, Morales - a former union leader for coca growers - has overseen a long stretch of political and economic stability for Bolivia, a landlocked country of 11 million people that is the continent's poorest. But support for him has slipped amid slowing economic growth and concerns about government corruption and anti-democratic practices.
Others worry about his extended stay in power. Morales is running in defiance of term limits and despite a 2016 referendum in which Bolivians voted against him being allowed to seek a fourth consecutive term. A local court ruled in his favour to allow him to run anyway. As he did in the 2014 election, he has promised to retire after the five-year term is over.
Morales needs 40% of ballots and a 10-point lead to win outright on Sunday. Polls open at 8am (1200 GMT) and close eight hours later. The next president will govern from 2020-2025.
Despite growing disenchantment with Morales, support for the opposition will be divided among eight candidates, all of whom trail him by double digits in a recent poll by Viaciencia.
(Production: Monica Machicao, Guillermo Garcia)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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