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Bolivian Presidential Election

7.3 million Bolivians were called to the polls this Sunday, October 18, 2020 to elect their President, Vice-President and renew their Parliament. The official results, revealed almost a week later, confirm the victory of the left-wing candidate Luis Arce with more than 51% of the votes against his main opponents, the centrist Carlos Mesa and the far-right supporter Luis Camacho.

An election that was held under a double constraint - political and sanitary - dominated by the Covid-19 epidemic and the memory of last year's election fiasco that led to the cancellation of the ballot and the resignation of former President Evo Morales, accused of "electoral fraud" by the opposition.
The victory of his runner-up and former Minister of Economy, Luis Arce, marks the return of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) to power. Bolivia "has returned to democracy," said Luis Arce, alongside his vice-president, David Choquehuenca. Evo Morales, for his part, claimed victory for his party from Argentina, where he took refuge.

In the face of the extremely slow announcement of the official results, a consequence of the precautionary measures taken by the government, which has favored manual counting to ensure "credible" results, calls for patience and non-violence have grown in number. Yet, despite a "calm" election day with only a few isolated incidents, the memory of last year's clashes that left 36 people dead fueled the fears of many Bolivians; businesses were stormed by those seeking to stock up on basic necessities, in anticipation of a potential return to post-election violence.

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