Demonstrations continued for a sixth consecutive day on Saturday, October 27, following President Evo Morales' confirmed reelection victory, in La Paz and other parts of the country. Protesters blocked road in La Paz, causing significant traffic and business disruptions. In an effort to reduce tensions, Morales invited representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and the US to conduct an audit into the voting. Morales said that if any fraud is detected, a runoff election will be held.
Carlos Mesa, the Citizen Community alliance opposition candidate, also called for peaceful protests to continue until the election results are investigated. A general strike is planned to take place in La Paz on Monday, October 28, including rallies and roadblocks. Demonstrations in support of Morales may also be organized in the coming days.
A heightened security presence is to be expected in the coming days across La Paz and other major urban areas. Transportation and business disruptions are anticipated over the next several days. Further protests are likely - particularly in and around the capital. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Bolivia (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 47.08 percent of the vote against his primary rival Carlos Mesa, who received 36.51 percent, preventing a runoff. Political opposition supporters are accusing the TSE of manipulating the vote in favor of Morales.
Individuals in Bolivia, particularly in La Paz, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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