Beginning of international survey on Bolivian elections, tensions do not fall

Since the controversial re-election of Evo Morales, the crisis has not ended. The latest episode: the chief observer of the Organization of American States has resigned.

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While the International Organization of American States (OAS) observers' investigation into the results of the Bolivian presidential election began on Thursday (October 31st), its leader announced his resignation the following day, Friday. "I decided to withdraw from the observation mission so as not to compromise its impartiality, wrote on Twitter Arturo Espinosa, a Mexican lawyer and academic. I should have informed the OAS of my prior public demonstrations about the electoral process in Bolivia. "

The Bolivian media reported that Espinosa last week published an opinion piece about the elections in Bolivia in which he was very critical of Socialist President Evo Morales. Paradoxically, the OAS inquiry into the electoral process in Bolivia was requested by the Morales government.

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Thursday, thirty OAS experts began their investigation of the count, according to an agreement negotiated between the Bolivian government and this organization in Washington, which includes most of the governments of the States of America. " Today (Thursday) starts this audit, which should last approximately two weeks. "Foreign Minister Diego Pary announced at a press conference.

Opposition rejects investigation

New demonstrations took place on Friday, especially in wealthy neighborhoods south of La Paz where anti-Morales activists cut off traffic. Strikes, enamelled incidents, continued in the economic capital Santa Cruz, as well as in the city of Potosi (southwest), strongholds of the opposition.

Read also After the reelection of Evo Morales, Bolivia remains divided

The establishment of the OAS audit, however, should not ease tensions between pro and anti-Morales: the opposition has declared Wednesday that it rejected this investigation in the current terms. "The audit agreed upon by the OAS and the candidate of the Movement for Socialism (party of Evo Morales) did not take into account the country, nor our conditions, starting with not recognizing the results of the count proclaimed by the Supreme Electoral Court, as well as the need to have representatives of the civil society in the process "said Carlos Mesa, the liberal rival of Evo Morales in the presidential election, who led the country between 2003 and 2005. Luis Fernando Camacho, president of the influential pro-Santa Cruz Committee, a conservative organization gathering traders , entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens, at the head of the dispute, also continues to demand the cancellation of the election.

After the first partial figures on the night of the vote, which foreshadowed an unprecedented second round, new results, broadcast more than twenty hours later, had practically given the victory to Mr. Morales, arousing on the part of the opposition and observers international suspicions of fraud. Five days later, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced the victory of Evo Morales, with a lead of more than ten points, allowing him to win in the first round.

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According to the official results released Friday by this court, Mr. Morales obtained 47.08% of votes against 36.51% for Mr. Mesa. The latter, on Twitter, immediately estimated that the TSE "Demonstrates that the will of Evo Morales is to consolidate its #ElectoralErectoralBolivia without listening to the people".


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