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Mon Oct 21, 2019, 03:04 AM

Bolivia elections: President Evo Morales may have to face second round

Source: The Guardian

Bolivia elections: President Evo Morales may have to face second round

President is ahead in early counting but could be vulnerable to a united opposition in a runoff

Linda Farthing in La Paz
Mon 21 Oct 2019 06.03 BST

Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, was ahead in the first round of the nation’s presidential election, but he appeared to have failed to get enough votes to avoid a runoff in the tightest political race of his life.

The Andean country’s top electoral authority said on Sunday night that a preliminary count of 84% of the votes showed Morales, who leads the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) party, was ahead with 45.3%, compared to 38.2% for his closest rival, former president, Carlos Mesa. If the results hold, the two men will face off in December and Morales could be vulnerable to a united opposition in the first runoff in his nearly 14 years in power.

To avoid a runoff and win outright, Morales would have needed to get 50% of the votes plus one or have 40% and finish 10 percentage points ahead of the nearest challenger. If a second round is required, it will take place on 15 December.

“We’re going to wait until the last vote is counted,” Morales told his supporters in La Paz’s Plaza Murillo on Sunday night. “We’re going to win again.”

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/21/bolivia-elections-president-evo-morales-may-have-to-face-second-round

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