Anti-Morales protesters erected roadblocks in La Paz on Monday, October 28, and many stores in the capital remained closed as the political opposition called for a strike to denounce alleged election fraud in favor of incumbent President Evo Morales. Anti-Morales demonstrators also reportedly clashed in La Paz with pro-Morales counterdemonstrators. The government has called on residents of strike-affected areas, including residents of La Paz and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, to conduct daily activities as normal; Morales has also warned that his rural supporters could put cities protesting his reelection under siege if such anti-Morales demonstrations continue.
A heightened security presence is to be expected over the coming days across La Paz and other major urban areas. Further pro- and anti-Morales demonstrations are likely, particularly in and around the capital, and clashes between the rival groups cannot be ruled out. Disruptions to transportation and business are to be anticipated in protest- and strike-affected areas.
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Bolivia (TSE) halted its provisionary vote count on 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 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 35.51 percent, preventing a runoff. Political opposition supporters are accusing the TSE of manipulating the vote in favor of Morales.
Individuals in La Paz and Santa Cruz de la Sierra are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business in demonstration- and strike-affected areas, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
Copyright and Disclaimer