La Paz, Oct 24 (IANS) Bolivia’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) announced that Luis Arce Catacora, the candidate for the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party, has won the October 18 presidential elections with 55.1 per cent of the votes.
“We have achieved a complex election in the midst of a political crisis; we have complied with a transparent, safe, and verifiable electoral process… We declare Luis Arce as President-elect of Bolivia and David Choquehuanca as Vice President-elect,” Xinhua news agency quoted TSE chief Salvador Romero as saying during a ceremony in La Paz on Friday.
He added that 88 per cent of eligible Bolivians voted in the elections.
The MAS also obtained absolute majorities in the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, although it did not achieve the two-thirds majority required to carry out constitutional reforms.
The TSE spent five days counting votes throughout the country’s nine departments, with the presence of representatives from political organizations, domestic and international observation missions, as well as the media.
This is the first time since 1989 that the country has published the official results of a presidential election in such a short period of time.
The official count shows Arce, the winner of the elections, with 55.1 per cent of the votes.
In the second place came Carlos Mesa from the Citizen Community party with 28.83 per cent, and Luis Fernando Camacho from the Creemos (We Believe) alliance ranked third, with 14 per cent.
Arce scored a 26-point victory over his biggest competitor to be declared the winner of the Bolivian elections, one year after elections were annulled when former President Evo Morales got 47 per cent of the votes.
A month before the elections, Bolivia’s interim President Jeanine Anez quit the election race, saying that she did not want to split the vote and see the return to office of Morales’ MAS socialist party, the BBC reported.
Anez was sworn in last year after Morales, who currently lives in Argentina, resigned and left the country amid allegations of electoral fraud.
Morales later said he was forced into exile by the police and the military.
He served as Bolivia’s President for almost 14 years, from 2006 to 2019, after winning three consecutive elections.