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With 98.42% of votes counted, Bolivia's leftist President Evo Morales has announced his victory, without the need for a second round, as he has surpassed the 10% threshold needed to win.
President Evo Morales announced Thursday morning that he has won the presidency for another term without a need for a second round in Bolivia’s general elections as a live official count by the electoral authorities showed him surpassing the 10 percent over the 10 percent threshold needed for a first-round victory, with 98.42 percent of the votes counted.
Though the President states that 1.58 percent of votes are left to be counted, he said that the margin of victory cannot be reversed because the only remaining votes are in rural areas that back him. Morales also invited international observers to audit the results.
Morales railed against the right-wing opposition who have so far refused to recognize the results that point to there being no second round.
Morales’ victory became apparent late in the counting process due to the fact that votes from rural Indigenous areas tend to be the last to be counted and have traditionally been in favor of Evo Morales.
"Disregarding the vote of the poorest, of the Indigenous, is a form of racism," said the president at a press conference Thursday morning, in which he declared victory.
Morales went on to lament the tense opposition discourse during the campaign. "We must recognize that such a level of lies and hatred, created by the opposition and some other groups, is unheard of.”
Bolivia’s opposition has so far not responded to the victory. Up until last night, opposition candidate Carlos Mesa said he did not recognize results and distrusts the electoral authorities. Likewise, the U.S. state department warned of "serious consequences" against Bolivia, citing supposed "irregularities" in preliminary projections, which are different to the live vote count which no observers have raised issues with.
Morales reiterated his invitation for international bodies, including the Organization of the American States (OAS) to audit the full results. “We have passed from a colonial state to a plurinational state thanks to the Bolivian people. We are in a moment of political liberation. We recovered democracy in 1983 and today we are living through Bolivia’s best moments.”