On October 24, after counting 99.9% of votes, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Bolivia (TSE) declared Evo Morales as the official winner of the presidential elections held in the country on October 20.
Morales, of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), received 47.07% of votes and a lead of 10.56% over the second runner, Carlos Mesa of Citizen Community (CC), a center-right political coalition, who secured 36.51% of votes.
These results gave him the necessary winning margin over the second most voted candidate, established under Bolivian election law, to avoid a second round of voting and have an outright victory in the elections.
The TSE clarified that 0.01% of votes, which had been voided in the region of Beni with new voting scheduled for November, would not be enough to change the outcome of the election.
With this victory, President Morales democratically wins Bolivia’s presidency for the fourth consecutive time and becomes Latin America’s longest serving president.
On his victory, Morales thanked the people of Bolivia for trusting in him and his project of transformation. “We greet and thank our people and the social sectors for this new victory of the MAS-IPSP. This is the fourth consecutive election that we won democratically. We won with more than half a million votes more than the second [running candidate] and we have an absolute majority in [the chamber of] deputies and senators,” tweeted Morales.
The streets of Bolivia have been tense following the shift in the tendency of preliminary results, which indicated that a run-off would be necessary. Since October 21, the Bolivian right-wing has been mobilizing on the streets to reject the results of the elections, disregarding the votes from rural regions that supported the MAS and led to the shift in the tendency and alleging that electoral fraud was committed.
In several cities across Bolivia, supporters of Mesa organized actions of violent sabotage to the local offices of the MAS, government buildings and even physically attacked members of the party. Meanwhile, the supporters of the MAS carried out peaceful mobilizations in defense of democracy.
On October 21, the Organization of American States (OAS), which has typically towed the line of imperialists against the socialist and progressive projects in the region, expressed in a statement “deep concern and surprise at the drastic and hard-to-explain change in the trend of the preliminary results revealed after the closing of the polls.” In addition, on October 23, the mission of observers of the OAS announced in a press conference that a second round should be held in the elections in order to calm the protests of the opposition candidate.
In response to these incidents, yesterday in a meeting at the OAS, Bolivian Foreign Minister, Diego Pary, rejected that an electoral fraud or manipulation of data could be possible in the country and reiterated the Bolivian governments invitation to the organization to carry out an official audit of the vote counting process for Sunday’s elections.
Following the announcement of the final results, Presidents and leaders from across Latin America and the world recognized the results and congratulated Morales for his impeccable victory.