LA PAZ (Reuters) – Bolivian President Evo Morales agreed on Sunday to carry new presidential elections on the advice of the Group of American States (OAS), however opposition figures referred to as on him to surrender his candidacy and resign.
Bolivia’s President Evo Morales addresses the media on the presidential hangar within the Bolivian Air Power terminal in El Alto, Bolivia, November 10, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
The OAS, which performed an audit of the disputed Oct. 20 election, issued a report earlier on Sunday that discovered critical irregularities within the vote received by the leftist chief.
Morales’ victory final month sparked widespread protests across the nation.
The OAS report stated the October vote must be annulled after it had discovered “clear manipulations” of the voting system that meant it couldn’t confirm Morales’ victory, a lead of simply over 10 factors over his rival Carlos Mesa.
Morales, talking at a press convention in La Paz, additionally stated he would change the nation’s electoral physique. The division has come underneath heavy criticism after an unexplained halt to the vote depend sparked widespread allegations of fraud and prompted the OAS audit.
When questioned about whether or not he can be a candidate within the new election, Morales advised a neighborhood radio station that “the candidacies should be secondary; what comes first is to pacify Bolivia,” including that he has a constitutional obligation to complete his time period.
The election turmoil has rattled Morales, a survivor of Latin America’s leftist “pink tide” 20 years in the past, whereas shaking religion within the stability of Bolivia’s democracy. The disaster threatens to topple the leftist icon at a time when left-leaning leaders have returned to energy in Mexico and Argentina.
Mesa stated Morales and Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera mustn’t preside over the electoral course of or be candidates.
“If in case you have an iota of patriotism, it’s best to step apart,” Mesa stated in a press convention.
Luis Fernando Camacho, a civic chief from the jap metropolis of Santa Cruz who has grow to be an emblem of the opposition, stated the OAS report clearly demonstrated election fraud and reiterated his name for Morales to resign. He stated he plans to hold a pre-written resignation letter for Morales to signal to the federal government palace.
“At present a battle was received, however we are going to reconfigure the constitutional order and democracy, and solely after we can ensure that democracy is strong, will we go residence,” Camacho stated to a crowd of cheering supporters in La Paz.
Morales, who got here to energy in 2006 as Bolivia’s first indigenous chief, has defended his election win however had stated he would adhere to the findings of the OAS audit.
The weeks-long standoff over the disputed election escalated over the weekend as police forces have been seen becoming a member of anti-government protests and the navy stated it might not “confront the individuals” over the problem.
“The manipulations to the pc programs are of such magnitude that they should be deeply investigated by the Bolivian State to unravel and assign duty on this critical case,” the preliminary OAS report stated.
“The primary spherical of the elections held on October 20 should be annulled and the electoral course of should start once more,” the OAS added in a separate assertion.
Voting ought to happen as quickly as circumstances are in place to ensure it with the ability to go forward, together with a newly composed electoral physique, the OAS stated.
The OAS added that it was statistically unlikely that Morales had secured the 10-percentage level margin of victory wanted to win outright.
Reporting by Daniel Ramos; Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Enhancing by Richard Chang and Lisa Shumaker