Bolivian socialist candidate set to win election outright, rapid count shows

Luis Arce, Presidential candidate of the Movement to Socialism party (MAS), rises his fist after voting at a polling station during Bolivia's presidential election in La Paz, Bolivia, October 18, 2020   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Bolivia's socialist candidate Luis Arce is set to win the country's presidential election without the need for a run-off, an unofficial rapid count of the vote indicated, which would usher the left-wing party of Evo Morales back into power.

The quick-count from Ciesmori, released by Bolivian TV channel Unitel, said Mr. Arce had 52.4% of the votes, while centrist former President Carlo Mesa had 31.5%. To win outright, a candidate needs at least 40% of the vote and to beat the runner up by at least 10 percentage points.

After governing Bolivia for nearly 14 years, Mr. Morales eventually quit in the wake of the fraught 2019 election, which sparked bloody protests.

The election is likely to set Bolivia's political course beyond Mr. Morales, the socialist indigenous leader whose shadow still looms large over the country, despite him living in exile in Argentina since the fraught vote last year.

“This is a fundamental moment in the history of our country,” Mr. Mesa said as he cast his vote in La Paz on Sunday.

In pre-election polls, Mr. Mesa had been in second place behind Mr. Arce from Morales' socialist party, though polls then had suggested a second round run-off would be needed.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 8:21:01 PM |

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