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  • Bolivia's President Evo Morales meets with independent miners from Potosi in Cochabamba, Bolivia, November 2, 2019.

    Bolivia's President Evo Morales meets with independent miners from Potosi in Cochabamba, Bolivia, November 2, 2019. | Photo: Bolivian Presidency via Reuters

Published 3 November 2019

The president also said the opposition's demonstrations, which have at times turned violent, are detrimental to the country's economic growth and give a "very bad image" of Bolivia in the world.

Bolivian President Evo Morales said Saturday that he expects a technical-legal and non-political report of the audit made by the OAS of the Oct. 20 presidential election which saw him winning reelection by a 10-percent margin, while opposition has refused to recognize his victory. 

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The president also said the opposition's demonstrations, which have at times turned violent, are detrimental to the country's economic growth and give a "very bad image" of Bolivia in the world.

The opposition has rejected recognizing the results of the elections which after the completion of the full count showed that Morales, from the Movement to Socialism (MAS), obtained 47.08 percent to 36.51 percent for Carlos Mesa, the right-wing candidate, granting the current president reelection without the need for a second round as he has a 10 percent lead.

The opposition argues that the suspension of the preliminary count, when it was showing a possibility of a second-round was evidence of fraud. However, the electoral authorities had already said ahead of the vote count that the preliminary count would not be binding and would be published at different stages of the counting process, unlike the full count which ended three days after elections day. 

In response to the doubts and fraud claims by opposition parties and their supporters, the government asked the Organization of American States (OAS), along with multiple regional governments, for an audit that began on Thursday and would take approximately two weeks and includes 30 different election specialists.

"They invented something called fraud, but no one has presented proof of fraud (...) Since they don't know how to present (the evidence), they say 'no, you have to cancel elections' and others say 'it was Evo', 'let Evo resign,' Morales said in an act in Cochabamba, a regional stronghold of his government.

In the government "we are going to be respectful of the conclusions, to the OAS report ... we expect it to be a technical-legal and non-political report," Morales added in the act broadcast on official television.

A member of the audit team, Mexican Arturo Espinosa, announced his resignation late Friday saying he did not want to compromise the impartiality of the review due to public statements he made about Bolivia.

Espinosa did not give details, but the local press has published articles written by the technician speaking out against re-election.

World powers such as Germany, the United States, France and Russia, in addition to 10 other countries and the United Nations (UN) supported this week, separately, the OAS comprehensive audit.

"I want to ask accredited ambassadors from all over the world in Bolivia to accompany them, and if they find any mistake, they will say, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal will clarify," Morales added.

The president said that while many people have mobilized against the country, that has not been the case all around the country. He also lamented the violent actions by sectors of the opposition's protests. 

"Let's not make Bolivia look bad with coup, hate, racism discrimination, you can not understand some groups try to make us hate, we have overcome that enough, instigate hatred of contempt," he said.

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