Weekly Report - 07 December 2017 (WR-17-48)

BOLIVIA: MAS downplays another electoral defeat

President Evo Morales and the ruling Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) are once again on the defensive following Bolivia’s second ever judicial elections on 3 December. The political opposition had called on the public to boycott the vote in protest at the recent decision by the plurinational constitutional court (TCP) to lift the ban on consecutive presidential re-election [WR-17-47]. Accordingly, it is trumpeting as a victory preliminary results from the electoral authorities (TSE) which suggest spoilt ballots accounted for over 50% of the vote while some 15% of votes were left blank. As in the 2011 election - the first time such a selection process was determined by direct popular vote anywhere in the world - this high percentage raises credibility questions over the 26 top justices elected and also reignites doubts about the value of putting such a technical issue to a public vote.

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