Protests in La Paz and El Alto continued into the evening (local time) of Thursday, November 7. Local media sources reported clashes between demonstrators calling for the resignation of President Evo Morales and his supporters in La Paz near Murillo Square and the Casa Grande del Pueblo. In El Alto, pro-government organizations gathered on Avenida 6 de Marzo to call for counter-demonstrations in support of President Morales.
A heightened security presence and associated disruptions are anticipated around all protest sites. Associated political rallies are expected to take place throughout Bolivia in the coming days, particularly in La Paz. Additional violence between rival political supporters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Tensions have been high in the country since 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. The protests have already left 30 wounded in the violence and constant clashes with police.
Individuals in La Paz and across Bolivia 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.
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