Bolivian leader says no 'political negotiation' with challenger
Bolivia leader Evo Morales vowed Saturday there would be no "political negotiation" following the country's presidential election whose disputed results have triggered violent protests across the country. Morales was declared the outright winner of the October 20 vote, after a sudden change in the ballot count extended his margin of victory over challenger Carlos Mesa beyond the 10 percentage points needed to avoid a run-off.
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LA PAZ (Reuters) - Bolivia's chief opposition leader on Sunday called for new elections to resolve the political crisis engulfing the nation since a disputed Oct. 20 vote that Bolivian authorities said was won by leftist President Evo Morales, sparking protests.
Former Bolivian president Carlos Mesa, the closest rival to Morales in official vote tallies, said, "The best solution to this crisis is a new election."
The streets of the Andean nation were mostly quiet over the weekend, with some scattered road blockades and peaceful rallies. But the rhetoric of the government and opposition leadership got tougher on Sunday.
Bolivia: 2 people killed in clashes in election dispute
At least two people were killed in clashes between supporters and opponents of Bolivian President Evo Morales over the disputed presidential election, authorities said Thursday. Violence has escalated since Morales was declared the winner of the Oct. 20 vote amid delays in the vote count. The opposition alleges the outcome was rigged to give Morales enough of a majority to avoid a runoff election; the president denies any irregularities.
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Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga won’t run in a new presidential election ordered by the Supreme Court, testing the limits Pompeo Calls for Second Round of Voting in Bolivian Election . 26, “and the people of Kenya will have the right to choose and determine who their leaders shall be."
Mesa, 66, who ruled Bolivia from 2003 to 2005, said his supporters will remain in the streets in peaceful protests until a solution to the crisis is achieved. The opposition previously called on Morales to step down.
Supporters of Morales and Mesa clashed in protests in the aftermath of the election. Two people were killed in unrest on Wednesday, the first deaths in a tense standoff running for almost two weeks.
A Morales administration spokesman did not immediately comment on Mesa's call for new elections.
Morales, 60, has been in power for nearly 14 years. He was declared the winner of the election by barely more than the 10 percentage point margin needed for outright victory, avoiding a runoff. The outcome was mired in controversy after the vote count was halted for a day when the election was seemingly headed for a run-off.
After the vote count was restarted by authorities amid an outcry from the opposition, foreign governments and election monitors, there was a sharp swing in the favor of Morales that gave him just enough votes to avoid a riskier second round.
(Reporting by Daniel Ramos and Vivian Sequera; writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Will Dunham)
Bolivia's Jeanine Anez declares herself acting president as Evo Morales vows to fight from abroad .
Bolivian senator Jeanine Anez declared herself the country's acting leader Tuesday, despite a boycott by former President Evo Morales' allies that left the legislative chamber short of the legal minimum number of lawmakers required to appoint her. © JORGE BERNAL/AFP/AFP via Getty Images Bolivian senator Jeanine Anez, gestures after proclaiming herself the country's new interim president during a session of Congress, despite it failed to reach a quorum, on November 12, 2019 in La Paz. - Lawmakers had been summoned to formalize Sunday's resignation of Evo Morales and confirm 52-year-old Anez as interim president.