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Latin American Weekly Report - 24 October 2019 (WR-19-42)

Bolivia election on a knife-edge

Bolivia has been plunged into uncertainty following the 20 October general election in which President Evo Morales was seeking a contentious fourth re-election for the ruling Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS). With the electoral authorities (TSE) yet to announce final results, a crisis has erupted after it suspended publication of results for 24 hours. This has cast major doubts over the credibility of the process and subsequent results, particularly after they suggest Morales could avoid a second-round run-off with former president Carlos Mesa (2003-2005) of the Comunidad Ciudadana alliance (which earlier voting patterns and polls had suggested was likely). With less than a percentage point in it, both sides are becoming more entrenched: Morales, for whom a run-off would be risky due to the possibility of the opposition uniting, maintains he won outright while Mesa insists that fraud took place and will only accept a second round.

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