facing the general strike launched by the opposition, Evo Morales denounces a coup d'etat

The socialist president said Tuesday "totally safe" to have won the election on Sunday, the counting is controversial.

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Manifestation against the results announcing a victory of Evo Morales in the first round of presidential elections, Tuesday, October 22 in La Paz. Jorge Saenz / AP

For the Bolivian president, it is a " Rebellion ". In his first public statement since Sunday's presidential election, the socialist Evo Morales denounced Wednesday (October 23rd) the general strike launched in his country at the call of the opposition.

"A coup process is under way, (…) the right has prepared, with international support, for a coup "said to the press the Socialist leader, telling himself "Totally safe" to have won the election, whose counting is controversial. "How is the coup d'état manifested? By not allowing counting of ballots to be done, by burning down state structures, such as county electoral courts, by threatening the campaign premises (from the ruling party) "he hammered.

At first, partial results released Sunday night had pointed to an unprecedented second round between Morales and his main rival, the centrist Carlos Mesa. But new results released Monday by the electoral authority had almost won the outgoing head of state, raising suspicions of fraud on the part of the opposition and international observers.

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The slow official vote count continued in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. To avoid a second round, the candidate in the lead must obtain the absolute majority or at least 40% of the votes and 10 percentage points of difference over the second. However, according to the latest official results of counting with still some 3% of ballots remaining to count, Mr. Morales obtains 46.4% of the vote against 37.07% for Mr. Mesa, an advance less than 10% required. "I am almost totally sure that with the vote of rural areas, we will win in the first round"assured Wednesday the president.

Pro-Moral Gathering in La Paz

The national strike kicked off on Tuesday night in the east of the country by Luis Fernando Camacho, president of the influential Pro-Santa Cruz Committee, a civil society organization based in Santa Cruz, the economic capital of the country. country and bastion of the opposition. He gave until Wednesday noon to the electoral authorities to confirm that there would be a second round. In response, a group of labor and peasant unions close to power, Conalcam, urged its activists to defend the official results and called for a rally Wednesday in La Paz that should be a show of strength in support of Morales.

"We have not been confrontational and we will not enter a confrontationpromised the leader on Wednesday, who declared a state of emergency. But I want to call on the Bolivian people to mobilize peacefully and within the framework of the Constitution, to defend democracy. " Morales' decision to run for a fourth term, when voters voted against it in a referendum in 2016, is frowned upon by some Bolivians and criticized by the opposition, which says the regime could turn to autocracy in case of new victory.

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Sign of the discomfort surrounding the counting, the Vice-President of the Bolivian Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Antonio Costas, announced Tuesday his resignation by criticizing the system of counting. As early as Monday, observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) – which includes most of the continent's governments – shared their views. "Deep concern and surprise at the dramatic and hard-to-justify change in the trend of preliminary results".

Tuesday, trying to give new guarantees of transparency, the government has proposed to the OAS observers to set up "As soon as possible, a commission to conduct an audit of the entire official counting process". A meeting on Bolivia is scheduled for Wednesday in Washington at the OAS headquarters.


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