The Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Bolivia (TSE) announced it held a recount on Wednesday, October 23, and confirmed that current President Evo Morales has won reelection by a 10.02-point advantage.
An indefinite civic strike began on Wednesday, October 23, which resulted in protests across the country, and notably in La Paz. The TSE's announcement will likely fuel additional protests on Thursday and into the weekend. Protests may potentially become increasingly violent, as government representative Carlos Romero revealed that state intelligence discovered a group of protesters have obtained and distributed dynamite to an estimated 400 people.
Additional disruptive protests should be expected over the coming several days amid a heightened security presence. Transportation and business disruptions are likely to continue. Protest locations may be city-wide, though some have been previously reported near the TSE's headquarters. Protests are also ongoing in Santa Cruz, an area that produces 70 percent of the country's food supply. Due to this, there are concerns that protests will present an economic shock to the country if they continue.
The constitution states that a candidate is elected president with no need for a runoff if they obtain 50 percent of the vote or has over 40 percent with a ten-point advantage over the next candidate. The electoral confrontation and mismanagement is likely to drive increasing distrust in the government.
The TSE halted its provisionary vote count on Sunday, October 20, after 83 percent of the ballot was completed. Initial results indicated that President Evo Morales was short of securing the 10-percentage point lead needed to prevent a runoff election. However, on Monday, October 21, the TSE updated the count, indicating that President Evo Morales secured 46.85 percent of the vote against his primary rival Carlos Mesa, who received 36.73 percent, preventing a runoff. Political opposition supporters are accusing the TSE of manipulating the vote in favor of Morales.
Individuals in Bolivia are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid any protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer