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Bolivia’s Electoral Tribunal Abandons New Vote Counting System Ahead of Election, TSE Head Says

© AP Photo / Juan KaritaMusicians wearing face masks amid the new coronavirus pandemic march to protest against the government, in La Paz, Bolivia, Monday, June 8, 2020
Musicians wearing face masks amid the new coronavirus pandemic march to protest against the government, in La Paz, Bolivia, Monday, June 8, 2020 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Bolivia’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) has decided not to use a new computer system for vote counting in the upcoming presidential election, TSE head Salvador Romero has announced.
"The Supreme Electoral Tribunal has been testing the preliminary results distribution system (DIREPRE) in recent weeks. And we want to inform the country that the test results do not allow us to ensure the security of full data distribution. That’s why … TSE has decided to withdraw the system for the current elections," Romero told reporters on Saturday.

He assured that vote counting will be carried out transparently and in line with the law and anybody, including journalists and international observers, will be able to monitor the process.

"Any citizen will be able to take a photo of the act of the election commissions. Any representative of a political party will be able to receive a copy of the act," Romero said.

Supporters of former Bolivian President Evo Morales, who is living in exile in Argentina, take part in a meeting organised by the Bolivianos Unidos group in Mendoza, to support the presidential candidate of the Movement to Socialism (MAS) party, Luis Arce, in Mendoza, Argentina, on 7 March 2020 - Sputnik International
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Bolivia is set to hold presidential and parliamentary elections this Sunday. According to the current polling, Luis Arce Catacora, the nominee of former president Evo Morales’ Movement to Socialism (MAS) party, is far ahead of centrist former president Carlos Mesa and other presidential candidates.

Luis Arce Catacora has criticized the new DIREPRE system, pointing to lags in posting photos of election commission acts.

Romero said on Saturday that official voting results should not be expected on Sunday night as vote counting will take some time.

Bolivia has experienced political turmoil since Morales stepped down in November of last year, after a controversial presidential election. Most of Bolivia’s senior officials resigned in his wake.

The Bolivian opposition, led by Carlos Mesa, claimed that there were mass violations in the October 2019 elections. Power in the country was assumed by the opposition vice-speaker of the senate, Jeanine Anez.

Early elections were initially announced in Bolivia for the summer of 2020 but have been repeatedly delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Morales, currently leading the MAS campaign from Argentina, is banned from running for president in Bolivia.

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