After a controversial 24-hour suspension of the count, preliminary presidential ballots in Bolivia have been updated. According to the highest electoral authority, according to the census of around 95 percent of the votes incumbent Evo Morales with 46.4 percent in the lead. His more business-friendly rival Carlos Mesa achieves around 37.07 percent. To prevent a runoff on December 15, Morales has to extend his lead to ten points. He would therefore only 0.67 percentage points missing.
Mesa had previously made serious allegations against Morales. He wanted to prevent a runoff election by delaying the announcement of the final election result. Mesa accused Morales of conspiring with the electoral commission "to block the way to a second round of election." He spoke of a possible election manipulation. A representative of the US government called on the Bolivian authorities to ensure transparency in the counting of votes.
After announcing the partial results on Sunday, Morales had not entered the second round of the election. So far, Morales, the first indigenous leader of the South American country, won all presidential elections in the first ballot.
The candidacy of the reigning since 2006 Morales for a fourth term is controversial. Bolivia's constitution actually bans a fourth term. However, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal had approved Morales' renewed candidacy last December.
Election in Bolivia - Evo Morales misses an absolute majority The incumbent achieves only 45 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election in Bolivia. Thus, he must with opponent Carlos Mesa in the ballot. © Photo: Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters