General Elections Conclude in Bolivia Amid Tense Calm

General Elections Conclude in Bolivia Amid Tense Calm
General Elections Conclude in Bolivia Amid Tense Calm
Except for some altercations and ravings, the elections passed more calmly than expected and most of the more than 7.3 million registered citizens were able to exercise their right to vote without problems, both in national territory and abroad.

We salute the calm day of the voting, this is a sign of our firm democratic vocation of all Bolivians, said Andrónico Rodríguez, candidate for senator for the Movement for Socialism (MAS).

However, one aspect criticized by politicians and international observers was the excessive military and police deployment for the elections.

The presidential candidate for the MAS, Luis Arce, denounced the enormous military deployment reigning in many cities of the country, which included the taking to the streets of battle tanks and more than 23,000 members of the forces of order, something a priori unconstitutional.

In fact, the Bolivian criminologist Gabriela Reyes warned about this situation of militarization that is experienced in the framework of the elections – supervised in person by the Minister of Government, Arturo Murillo -, as it is unconstitutional.

Law 026 Art.148 says that on the day of the election it is the Plurinational Electoral Body that assumes command of the public force. Article 149 e) establishes that said public force must remain quartered until the Suffrage Tables are finished, he stressed.

The official and final data will be published on October 21, and even the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Salvador Romero, explained that this delay is due to the decision not to use the Preliminary Results Dissemination system (Direpre).

We prefer to dispense with the preliminary results, said Romero, before emphasizing that the intention is to issue the “definitive result without an iota of doubts,” although this decision raised multiple suspicions.

It is highly worrying that the TSE decided to suspend the Direpre system. This last-minute decision raises doubts about his intentions, emphasized on Twitter Evo Morales, who served as president of Bolivia between 2006 and 2019, before being deposed by the coup of last November.

It is worth remembering that Morales suffered a military coup that ended his administration and installed a de facto government in power, headed by the current temporary president Jeanine Áñez, a policy of little popularity, to the point that he decided not to stand in these elections. .

Morales himself, currently a refugee in Argentina, called this Sunday for harmony from a distance and said that it is very important to wait calmly for the final count of the votes.

Either way, the inauguration of the new president will take place between October 31 and December 30, as established by the 2020 Electoral Calendar, and not on January 22 as was customary in the last 15 years.

The new president may take the oath as soon as Saturday, October 31, in case a second round is not necessary.

It is worth remembering that to win in the first round, the person elected must reach more than 50 percent of the votes, or at least 40 percent of the ballots with a difference of 10 points over the occupant of second place, according to the rules of the TSE.

In the event that this minimum required advantage is not achieved, a second round between the two most voted pairs will be held, which is scheduled for November 29, according to the electoral calendar approved by all the parties.

For the moment, all those cast in the general elections guaranteed that they would recognize the result of the voting regardless of the winner.

The aspiring candidates for the presidential seat are Luis Arce (MAS), Carlos Mesa (Citizen Community), Luis Fernando Camacho (We Believe Alliance), Chi Hyun Chung (Front for Victory) and Feliciano Mamani (Bolivian National Action Party).

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