With the focus on the dispute between Luis Arce, Evo Morales’ dolphin, and former president Carlos Mesa, a total of 7,332,925 people were allowed to vote this Sunday in the elections presidential in Bolivia, in a day marked by a strong military deployment and an economic crisis and the management of the pandemic by the de facto government of Janine Áñez.
Although a slow scrutiny was to be expected due to the suspension of the quick count by the Electoral Tribunal, the delay surprised locals and others at the same time that the ballot boxes were not disseminated. Having processed 0.6% of the minutes, Mesa leads with 56% of the votes compared to 33% for Arce.
The de facto president of Bolivia, Jeanine Añez, asked the population for “patience” and to avoid violent acts in the face of the slow delivery of the results of the elections this Sunday, in a day of peaceful suffrage.
“Patience, we must all have patience to wait for the results without generating any type of violent events,” said Añez in a television message after the closing of the polling stations after nine hours of voting.
“I assure you we are going to have credible results,” said Añez, after the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) announced on Saturday night the suspension of the quick vote count, and that it will only deliver the official, slower data.
Despite this, the deposed president Evo Morales criticized the delays in the dissemination of the exit points and questioned the lack of transparency on the part of the companies that carry out the scrutiny. The leader of the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) and former president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, today cast doubts on the transparency and impartiality of the companies that collect exit data from the national elections in his country.
“It is very strange and worrying that, with almost an hour of the time allowed for the publication of the results at the exit of the exit, companies do not do it,” Morales wrote on Twitter. “Why the delay? What do you want to hide?”, He asked himself, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he is asylum.
Earlier, the candidate for the presidency of Bolivia for the MAS, Luis Arce Catacora, was the first candidate to cast his vote and stated that his party “He will come to power by democratic means and not by arms”, referring to the coup that led to the deposed president Evo Morales leave power.
The economist voted in the Cervantes school in La Paz before a crowd that chanted “I fight, I fight” before entering to look for the ballot and when he deposited it in the ballot box.
“Let us hope that today and the following days pass in a peaceful manner. In the MAS we are committed to a democratic solution, we do not take power by arms, we do it through a democratic way”said the candidate in a brief statement to the media.
Arce appears in the polls as the probable winner, although he must reach 40% of the votes with 10 points of difference from his follower to win directly in this first round.
As in the frustrated elections last year, the second in voting intentions is the former president Carlos Mesa, candidate of Citizen Consciousness, a moderate liberal who represents the elites of eastern Bolivia.
As he approached to cast his vote, Mesa called on the public to vote “at a fundamental moment in the history of the country” and he anticipated that the result of the elections “will be known tomorrow or the day after tomorrow” in the face of political polarization.
After voting in a school in La Paz, the ex-president called on all citizens to go to the polls since “this is a fundamental moment in the history of the country.”
“We are all committed to our vote for a better Bolivia, one that can reverse the crisis and move forward with security and certainty,” said the moderate liberal who represents the elites of eastern Bolivia.
The president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) of Bolivia, Salvador Romero, guaranteed that today’s elections will be “clean and transparent” when opening the election day this morning.
“It will be a clean and transparent election as required by democracy and the country requires,” said the judicial official, saying that they are the “most complex elections in democratic history” after the cancellation of the 2019 presidential elections, with accusations of fraud. to re-elect Evo Morales, and the postponements due to the coronavirus.
Despite this, the former president and former presidential candidate Tuto Quiroga also questioned the delay in uploading data. “After 9:30 p.m., hours after closing, it is reported with less 0.4% of the votes. The President of the Electoral Tribunal of Bolivia fills us with adjectives and synonyms, instead of figures and percentages; his job is to count votes , not do group therapy, “he said.
Measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, such as maintaining a distance between voters, slowed down the voting process, generated long lines and a wait of more than two hours to enter some polling stations, an AFP reporter said.
The elections were held under a security operation with the deployment of the military and police.
After the October 2019 elections, a social unrest was unleashed by allegations of fraud in favor of Morales, who was seeking a fourth term. The violent episodes, with more than 30 deaths, led to a coup orchestrated by the police, military and politicians against the indigenous leader, who is in exile in Argentina.
“We have had a quiet day throughout the country so far,” said Deputy Minister of Citizen Security Wilson Santamaria in a statement, when there are still extensive lines of voters in some polling stations shortly after the polls close at 5:00 p.m. local time. (21H00 GMT).
Santamaria indicated that there were two incidents in the municipalities of Caranavi and Sica Sica de La Paz. In the first, “two people stole two electoral bags and were apprehended by the Prosecutor’s Office”; and in the second “there was an attempt to prevent the entry of the electoral bags; but immediately the security agents have helped.”
Arce, from the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) and Delfin de Morales, and former centrist president Carlos Mesa are the favorites in these elections, but the presidency will probably be defined in a ballot between the two on November 29.