Morales wins enough votes to avoid second round of Bolivian Presidential Election: reports

Published: Oct 22, 2019, 9:00 am IST

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has won 46.86 per cent of the votes in the country’s presidential election, avoiding a runoff, local media report citing official preliminary election results.
Morales is winning with a 10.12 margin against his rival Carlos Mesa, who has 36.74 per cent of the votes, with 95.09 per cent counted, the Bolivian El Deber newspaper said on Monday evening, citing data from the country’s Preliminary Election Results Transmission (TREP) system.
The country’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal said later on Monday night that with 95.43 per cent of the votes counted, Morales had 46.86 per cent, while Mesa had 36.72 per cent of the votes, leaving Bolivia’s current president with a 10.13 per cent margin.
Mesa has refused to recognise the election results and said on Monday night, as quoted by El Deber, that Bolivia’s election authorities were guilty of “fraud.”
Police had to use tear gas against demonstrators gathered in the capital La Paz, in front of the government building where the vote count was being carried out, on Monday, according to local media.
To win in the first round of the presidential elections in Bolivia, a candidate needs to get more than 50 per cent of the votes, or, as an alternative, at least 40 per cent with a margin of 10 per cent from the closest opponent.
Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, has been in power since 2006. His main challenger Carlos Mesa served as president in 2003-2005.
In his three previous elections, Morales won with 54, 64 and 61 percent of the votes.