Sunday, December 18, 2005

Unofficially, a landslide victory

As the TV and radio stations continued to count their poll results, the percentage of votes for Evo Morales continued to increase. In fact, the numbers from PAT and Unitel throw something like fifty percent. Thus, in the last hours there have been speeches from all major candidates.

  • Tuto Quiroga congratulated the MAS campaigners. But he didn't explicitly recognize his failure or Evo's victory. He just reassured his voters that he is staying in Bolivia to work for democracy and that he would take whatever job that destiny would land at his feet. Most commentators feel that he actually acknowledged Evo's victory. However, he was careful enough to leave the door open to an hypothetical presidency.
  • Samuel Doria Medina acknowledged the MAS victory. However, he said that he would make no alliances. Even if he said that he would support the first candidate if a difference of more than five points separates him from the second.
  • Evo Morales spoke for a long time in the place where he attained political notoriety, the cocalero's headquarters in Chapare. He emphasized the historical quality of these elections and talked about the change that Bolivia will undergo under his rule. He was rather aggressive against the Corte Nacional Electoral, or CNE, (more on that below) and not very conciliatory with people that didn't vote for him. His vice-president candidate had a more conciliatory speech, he avoided the election problems and, in my opinion, had a more hopeful tone.
There were many people who were not allowed to vote today. The body that takes care of elections logistics, CNE, did not consider people who didn't register for these elections, as they were required. However, there are accounts from people who fulfilled all the requirements but yet, they were not allowed to cast their vote. Technical problem or something more obscure? The MAS argues that the regions where this problem was most serious were the most supportive of MAS. Following this reasoning, Evo Morales demanded the resignation of the CNE's president.

We still have to wait for the official vote numbers. Yet, the most likely outcome is that Evo Morales is going to be the next president of Bolivia with a strong congress backing.

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