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Weekly Report - 21 October 2021 (WR-21-42)

BOLIVIA: Government claims vindication over contested election

Bolivia’s government has concluded an analysis of ballot sheets from the disputed October 2019 presidential election, when allegations of electoral fraud to benefit then-president Evo Morales (2006-2009) set off a political crisis that saw Jeanine Áñez (2019-2020) declare herself interim president. On 15 October, Bolivia’s Attorney General Wilfredo Chávez announced that there was no evidence of fraud, arguing that the opposition’s claims of electoral malpractice had been debunked. President Luis Arce’s government has also seized upon an indirectly related constitutional court ruling to claim that “there was no power vacuum” in 2019, making Áñez’s ascension to the presidency illegitimate. The opposition has accused the government of wilfully misinterpreting the court ruling and conducting a sham audit of the ballots.

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