- Title: 'A giant fraud' -Protests flare over disputed Bolivia election
- Date: 23rd October 2019
- Summary: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (OCTOBER 22, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** ***WARNING: CONTAINS PROFANITY*** VARIOUS, CROWDS OF PROTESTERS RUNNING AS TEAR GAS WAFTS IN STREET POLICE FIRE TEAR GAS CANISTERS PEOPLE RUNNING FROM TEAR GAS / PERSON WEARING BOLIVIAN FLAG AS CAPE WALKING THROUGH CLOUD OF GAS VARIOUS, FIRE ON SIDEWALK AS TEAR GAS CANISTERS FLY AROUND TEAR GAS IN FOREGROUND / POLICE IN RIOT GEAR IN BACKGROUND POLICE ON STREET POLICE SPRAYING PROTESTERS ON SIDEWALK PROTESTERS CLASHING WITH POLICE / TEAR GAS CANISTERS FLYING VARIOUS, POLICE ON STREET PROTESTER KICKS TEAR GAS CANISTER POLICE IN RIOT GEAR ADVANCE DOWN STREET PEOPLE AROUND FIRE ON STREET LARGE CROWD OF PROTESTERS WAVING BOLIVIAN FLAGS BOLIVIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, CARLOS MESA, AMIDST CROWD LARGE CROWD OF PROTESTERS MESA IN CROWD BOLIVIAN FLAG WAVING IN FOREGROUND OF CROWD OF PROTESTERS (PROFANITY OVERHEARD) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BOLIVIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, CARLOS MESA, SAYING: "Right at this instant only a few meters from us a giant fraud is being perpetrated that intends to have us believe that there won't be a second round, lying to the country, turning their back on your vote, and robbing us of our popular sovereignty." VARIOUS, CROWD OF PROTESTERS VARIOUS, POLICE FORMING LINE TO HOLD BACK PROTESTERS VARIOUS, POLICE IN FRONT OF CROWD OF PROTESTERS (PROFANITY OVERHEARD) VARIOUS, LARGE CROWD OF PROTESTERS HOLDING BOLIVIAN FLAGS VARIOUS, PROTESTERS CHANTING WOMAN JUMPING SIGN AT PROTEST READING (Spanish) "THE PEOPLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED" VARIOUS, PROTESTERS IN FRONT OF POLICE BOLIVIAN FLAG WAVING POLICE AND CROWD FACE OF POLICE OFFICER
- Embargoed: 6th November 2019 02:06
- Keywords: tear gas Bolivia presidential violence election Bolivian President Evo Morales candidate police Carlos Mesa fraud protest
- Location: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- City: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001B2BHHZB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS NOTE: PROFANITY OVERHEARD IN SHOT 17 & 21
Thousands of Bolivians furious over what they saw as an attempt by leftist President Evo Morales to rig Sunday's election protested outside the hotel in the capital city of La Paz where the country's electoral board was processing remaining ballots on Tuesday (October 22).
Chanting insults at Morales and saying "we're not afraid," protesters marched through downtown La Paz, moving past police barriers as firecrackers set off to summon more people to the demonstration rang out in the night.
The march followed a night of rioting and clashes between voters and police on Monday (October 21), when vote-counting stations and ballot boxes were set ablaze in some regions.
The unrest marked a major jolt for the land-locked country, which has had a long stretch of political stability under Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president and Latin America's longest continuous-serving standing leader.
In an attempt to calm the uproar, Morales' government walked back the president's comments on Sunday (October 20), when Morales declared he had won the election and only needed rural votes to confirm another "historic, unprecedented" victory for his leftist government.
With the binding vote count at 95%, Morales extended his lead to more than 9 percentage points, still short of the 10 points he needs to avoid a run-off with his chief rival, Carlos Mesa, who spoke at the protest late on Tuesday.
An official quick count by the state Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) on Monday showed Morales eking out a 10-point lead for an outright win. The preliminary tally at 84% had shown a likely run-off, but the TSE halted publication unexpectedly, sparking an outcry.
A political group affiliated with Morales, Conalcam, slammed the unrest as part of a coup d'etat orchestrated by the right-wing opposition and called on supporters to defend Morales' "victory" with peaceful counter-protests. It called for a national mobilization on Wednesday.
(Production: Monica Machicao, Herbert Villarraga, Santiago Limachi, Sergio Limachi)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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