- Title: OAS recommends second round for Bolivia amid election standoff
- Date: 23rd October 2019
- Summary: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (OCTOBER 23, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** GENERAL VIEW OF THE HEAD OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES MISSION OF ELECTORAL OBSERVERS, MANUEL GONZALEZ, ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) HEAD OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES MISSION OF ELECTORAL OBSERVERS, MANUEL GONZALEZ, SAYING: "The definitive result shows a 9.48% difference between the candidates which means there should be a second round. In the event that the counting has concluded and the margin of difference be more than 10%, it is reasonable to conclude that it would be in relation to the problems witnessed during this electoral process. A second round continues to be the best option." GENERAL VIEW OF NEWS CONFERENCE JOURNALISTS NEWS CONFERENCE OAS LOGO (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) HEAD OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES MISSION OF ELECTORAL OBSERVERS, MANUEL GONZALEZ, "The peak of the polarization, the mistrust in the electoral process and the lack of transparency has generated high political and social tension. The results of an election should be credible and accepted by the entire population." EXTERIOR OF HOTEL WHERE THE OAS MISSION OF ELECTORAL OBSERVERS ARE BASED
- Embargoed: 6th November 2019 18:54
- Keywords: Bolivia politics crisis election vote OAS second round
- Location: LA PAZ, TARIJA, POTOSI AND ORURO, BOLIVIA
- City: LA PAZ, TARIJA, POTOSI AND ORURO, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001B2BKQ4N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Bolivian leader Evo Morales on Wednesday (October 23) repeated his claim of victory in a presidential election and accused the opposition of trying to orchestrate a coup, after mass opposition-led protests since the Sunday vote that claimed the counting was rigged.
The latest official count, apparently frozen with nearly 97% of the ballot processed, showed Morales with 46.49% of the vote. That puts him 9.5 points ahead of main rival Carlos Mesa, but still short of the 10-point lead needed to win outright and avoid a riskier second round run-off.
The official election monitor, the Organization of American States (OAS), called the count into question and cited a "drastic" and inexplicable shift in the vote, which hurt voters' confidence in the electoral process.
At a meeting held on Wednesday to discuss issues in Bolivia, the OAS said Morales could not claim victory and that it recommended that even if he were to reach a 10-point lead that the country should still hold a second round vote.
A number of foreign governments, including the United States, Brazil and the European Union, voiced concerns about the integrity of the vote.
Morales called on the people to "defend democracy" in the speech. Later in the day, he sought to shore up backing from the country's military at an event in the region of Cochabamba, a key source of political support.
Rival Mesa, in a video statement on Wednesday, called for "permanent protests" until a second round vote was confirmed, and said he would present evidence of electoral fraud.
Protesters, angry at what they saw as an attempt by Morales to rig the vote, had protested en masse in La Paz, outside where the electoral board was processing the last remaining ballots with the president edging towards outright victory.
Unrest in the country began after an official quick vote count was disrupted by a near 24-hour halt late on Sunday, when Morales claimed his party would win outright despite initial numbers showing the two main rivals heading to a second round.
(Production: Monica Machicao, Sergio Limachi)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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