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  • Military with war weapons guarding polling stations, La Paz, Bolivia, Oct. 18, 2020.

    Military with war weapons guarding polling stations, La Paz, Bolivia, Oct. 18, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @FreddyteleSUR

Published 18 October 2020
Opinion

Bolivia's Armed Forces guarded the ballot boxes and patrolled the streets with war guns in another coup-born regime's attempt to show power.

Bolivia's Election Day passed by amid frequent reports of irregularities, incidents around polling stations, and aggressions against reporters. This situation, however, was not reported accusingly by electoral authorities and most local outlets.

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From the beginning of the electoral process, citizens took the social networks to denounce the presence of troops in polling stations.

"The Armed Forces guarded the ballot boxes and patrolled the streets of the country with war guns. This is another Bolivian coup-born regime's attempt to show power," Freddy Morales, teleSUR correspondent in Bolivia, tweeted. 

At least two people were arrested for the theft of eight suitcases with ballots. The Interior Ministry reported that the stolen slips were recovered a few hours after the incident.

Likewise, a militant of Citizen Change Party (CC), which is led by the right-wing candidate Carlos Mesa, was arrested when he tried to bring marked ballots in favor of that nominee into a polling station. 

The meme reads, "This seems more like war training; however, it is the Army on the streets of Bolivia today, on Election Day. The military wielding weapons of war, what for? Do they want to intimidate voters who, according to the polls, are going to say 'goodbye' to this conservative coup-born government?"

 

Citizens who attended the Gran Chaco polling center denounced the absence of the voting box. Meanwhile, a group of voters condemned the absence of the electoral lists at the entrance of another station.

Violent episodes were also reported. The local community radio station Radio Kawsachun Coca denounced that one of its reporters, Ollie Vargas, was attacked by far-right groups in the Mejillones polling station.

"The incident occurred while the journalist was filming Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) militant and Senate President Eva Copa's arrival to the polling station," Radio Kawsachun Coca stated as it reported that there were clashes, insults, and pushes. 

At the end of the Election Day, the Supreme Court (TSE) omitted each of these incidents as it thanked authorities for ensuring that the voting process was conducted calmly and serenely.

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