After walking 21 kilometers from El Alto city, hundreds of miners, peasants, artisans and students, summoned by the Bolivian Workers Central (COB), arrived at La Paz on Wednesday to express their support for President Evo Morales and demand respect for the results of the October 20 elections.
Bolivian Gov't Says OAS Audit of Elections Begins Oct. 31
"We are on vigil since Monday. Many unions joined peaceful marches and rallies around the Murillo Square to guarantee democracy and avoid confrontation and violence," the COB executive secretary Juan Carlos Huarachi said.
The workers' leader also highlighted the calm environment that exists in La Paz city after the Morales administration announced an international audit of the election results.
Huarachi regretted that the former Presidential candidate Carlos Mesa maintain contradictory political attitudes which harm the Bolivian nation.
On Wednesday morning, the opposition leader announced that he would participate in the audit agreed with the Organization of American States (OAS); a short time later, however, he said he would not.
"The Federation of Indigenous Workers marches in defense of the rural vote."
This fickling behavior has been a characteristic of the opposition alliance Citizen Community (CC) which does not accept its electoral defeat so far.
Initially, although there was still no data on the totality of votes at the national level, the CC demanded a second round of presidential elections.
Then, once the official data was known, the opposition requested an international audit alleging that there were suspicions of fraud, but it did not present any evidence in this regard.
Finally, on October 31, on the day in which the international audit must begin, Mesa's political alliance asks for the annulment of the elections.
"The best way to resolve any conflict is dialogue and concertation. We thank OAS, UN and friendly countries that came to our call to conduct a comprehensive audit of the outcome of the October 20 general elections."
Meanwhile, the Bolivian authorities on Thursday ratify their willingness to dispel any doubt that may exist regarding the election results.
"We want to do the audit to dispel controversies around the results. We know that there are sectors of the population which are not satisfied with the results," Communication Minister Manuel Canelas said.
The international audit, which is being performed by 30 OAS experts and delegates from other countries, is expected to last between 10 and 12 days and "will be binding," El Cronista reported.
The audit shall take into account four issues: "the verification of computation, which includes minutes, ballots and votes; the verification of the process, which encompasses computer procedures; the statistical component, which includes data projections; and the chain of custody from the polls."