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Bolivian Electoral Court Declares Morales Winner of Presidential Election - Report

© REUTERS / UESLEI MARCELINOBolivia's President and presidential candidate Evo Morales of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party is greeted by supporters as he arrives to vote during the presidential election at a polling station in a school in Villa 14 de Septiembre, in the Chapare region, Bolivia, October 20, 2019.
Bolivia's President and presidential candidate Evo Morales of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party is greeted by supporters as he arrives to vote during the presidential election at a polling station in a school in Villa 14 de Septiembre, in the Chapare region, Bolivia, October 20, 2019. - Sputnik International
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The manual vote counting, which began on 20 October, the day of the election, lasted five days.

Evo Morales, the leader of the Movement for Socialism (MAS), was re-elected as president of Bolivia following five days of manual vote count, AFP reported Thursday.

According to AFP report, Morales won with 47.06% support, securing the 10.5% advantage over his next rival, Carlos Mesa of the Citizen Community, who won 36.5% of votes. The 10% advantage was required to declare victory without second-round vote.

The third place was taken by Pastor Chi Huyn Chung of the Christian Democratic Party, who won 8.8% of votes.

Evo Morales's fourth term as president begins in January 2020 and will end in December 2025, Brasil de Fato report says.

The opposition, led by Mesa, dismissed the preliminary results, claiming electoral fraud. However, the Electoral Court explained that a decision was made to suspend reporting electronic vote count and to opt for manual vote count results, which, while slower, is more accurate. The Court said that reporting both electronic and manual vote count would have introduced confusion, which it sought to avoid, the Brasil de Fato report says.

The claims of fraud made by Mesa led to violent protests in several Bolivian cities earlier this week, with protesters setting fire to electoral offices and clashing with police. The police had to use tear gas to repel the protesters.

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