- If Arce can obtain more than 50% of the vote, he would be the winner in the first round and avoid a re-run.
- Bolivia went to the polls on Sunday to elect a president, vice president, deputies and senators for the next five years.
- Bolivian President Evo Morales and Vice President Álvaro García Linera resigned last year, after days of protests and fierce criticism of a controversial election result.
Luis Arce, presidential candidate of the former Bolivian President Evo Morales’ Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, has claimed an outright win in the first round of Sunday’s presidential elections. A poll by the Tu Voto Cuenta initiative, broadcast by the Cadena A television channel, gives Arce 53% of the votes.
If Arce can obtain more than 50% of the vote, he would be the winner in the first round and avoid a re-run.
The runner up candidate is Carlos Mesa, with 30.8%, followed by Luis Fernando Camacho, 14.1%. The other two candidates have 1.6% for Chi Hyun Chung and 0.5% Feliciano Mamani, according to the poll.
Another Ciesmori poll for the Unitel and Bolivision television networks gives 52.4% of the votes to Luis Arce, 31.5% to Carlos Mesa, and 14.1% to Luis Fernando Camacho. Chi Hyun Chung would have 1.6% of the vote, and 0.4% for Feliciano Mamani, according to the poll.
The MAS party in general is in a celebratory mood, led by the former President, Morales, who is exiled abroad.
The interim president of the country, Jeanine Áñez, has already acknowledged that although it is not the official count, the victory for MAS looks certain, and she has congratulated its candidates.
“We still do not have an official count, but from the data we have, Mr. Arce and Mr. Choquehuanca have won the election,” she said on her official Twitter account. “I congratulate the winners and I ask that they govern thinking of Bolivia and of democracy,” she said.
Bolivia went to the polls on Sunday to elect a president, vice president, deputies and senators for the next five years. The elections took place in an atmosphere of tranquility in the country, with long lines in some venues, especially in the morning and around noon, due to the biosecurity measures required to prevent COVID-19 infections.
Bolivian President Evo Morales and Vice President Álvaro García Linera resigned last year, after days of protests and fierce criticism of a controversial election result, and fled to exile. Morales claimed to have won the October 20 presidential election last year.
However, the counting of votes had been suspended for a day without a clear explanation, which was followed by allegations of manipulation and fraud against Morales.
Police Join Anti-Government Protests
The president was still determined to start his fourth term as president of the country, where he had been in power since 2006. However, his main competitor, Carlos Messa, did not accept the result and demanded new elections.
Messa’s supporters frequently took to the streets in support of Messa, and police forces in three large Bolivian cities later on also joined the demonstrators.
Morales was forced to step down after a section of the security forces rejected him and sided with the protesters, in what the former president described as a coup. His party’s win of the fresh elections is a big victory for Morales, and he is likely to return home from exile a stronger politician.