The virtual triumph of Luis Arce, candidate of the Movement to Socialism (MAS) of Evo Morales, awarded by the quick counts of two pollsters, was recognized this Monday by politicians as his main opponent, former President Carlos Mesa, still awaiting the official results of the general elections .
The congratulations to Arce followed one another during this day, beginning with Latin American presidents allied to the MAS, such as the Argentine Alberto Fernández, the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the Venezuelan Nicolás Maduro, in addition to international entities such as United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS).
The day before he had already congratulated the interim president from Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez, based on the polls that predict a victory for Arce with more than 50% of the vote, a sufficient percentage to avoid the second round with Carlos Mesa.
The opposition accepts defeat
In the absence of official results, the former Bolivian president (2003-2005) assumed before the media in La Paz that the former minister will be the winner of the elections in Bolivia and its formation Citizen Community will lead the opposition for the period 2020-2025.
Mesa was confident of keeping up from the opposition, without feeling sad, but grateful for the support of a part of the electorate. Who still clings to the official count is the former civic leader Luis Fernando Camacho, who according to the polls was third, well below Arce and Mesa.
According to the same data, Camacho confirmed that his bastion is Santa Cruz, his region of origin, with almost half the support of the voters, but that result contrasted with the low numbers in the other eight Bolivian regions.
The politician avoided referring to the victory that Arce is already celebrating, but he did emphasize that Santa Cruz “demonstrated its democratic vocation” and is “the bastion” of the Bolivian democracyIn addition to the fact that “for the first time” in its history this region will have a “worthy bench” of legislators.
Santa Cruz is the most populous department in Bolivia with more than three million inhabitants and economic center from the country.
In the days before last Sunday’s election, a part of the public opinion pressured Camacho to decline his candidacy, in order to prevent the MAS by Evo Morales return to the Government, to which the former civic leader replied this Monday that retiring “is cowardly.”
Waiting for official results
After 20.00 local time (00.00 GMT on Tuesday) and with about 36.4% of votes counted, the official count shows Maple with 42.4% and Mesa with 36.5%.
These percentages suppose that there would be a second round between the two, since neither reaches 50% plus one of the votes nor 40% with ten points of advantage over the next, which are needed to win in first, but it is expected that as it progresses be confirmed to MAS victory.
Camacho appears with 18.9%, Presbyterian pastor Chi Hyun Chung with 1.5% and miner Feliciano Mamani with 0.5%.
The president of Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Salvador Romero, appeared before the media for a new evaluation of the electoral process in which he recognized that the vote count is slow due to the fact that it was sought that reliability would prevail over speed.
Romero said that although the law allows it to last until next weekend, the commitment is that the results are sooner, so that in the first fifteen days of November they can possess the new authorities and “get up and running quickly.”
The president of the TSE stressed that this body met the “fundamental requirement” of the process, which was to have a choice “clean and transparent”, with a result recognized by political actors, society and the international community.
Confidence in elections
He also highlighted that the foundations were laid for “rebuilding trust” in the electoral body and process, which were “damaged” after the failed elections of 2019, annulled amid allegations of fraud in favor of the reelection of Evo Morales that are criminally investigated and he has always denied.
The level of participation in the elections, for which some 7.3 million voters were eligible, it reached 87%, one of the highest averages in elections in Bolivia and even in Latin America in the 21st century, according to Romero.
In Bolivia the vote is mandatory for those of legal age residing in the country, under economic sanctions in addition to being disqualified for three months to carry out any bank or state procedure. Therefore, thousands of Bolivians made long lines at civil registry offices, in search of a certificate that would save them from this temporary “civil death” for not having voted.