Bolivian President Evo Morales on Saturday said 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 vote on Sunday last week, after a sudden change in the ballot count extended his margin of victory over challenger former Bolivian president Carlos Mesa beyond the 10 percentage points needed to avoid a runoff.
Mesa, who is backed by a collective of centrist and right-wing parties, on Saturday said that he “rejected and ignored the closure of the national count of the general elections ... because it is the result of fraud and a breach of the popular will.”
Morales shot back later in the day.
“I want to tell you: Here there is no political negotiation. Here the constitution is respected, as is the party that won the last national election. I want the Bolivian right wing to know that,” the leftist leader said during a speech in Cochabamba in central Bolivia.
With all the votes counted, the Bolivian Supreme Electoral Tribunal gave Morales 47.08 percent and Mesa 36.5 percent.
The poll triggered a week of violent protests, as rival supporters clashed with security forces and each other in La Paz and elsewhere.
Mesa has called on his supporters to maintain street protests. Thousands of demonstrators blocked streets in major cities around the country on Saturday, erecting barricades and waving the red, yellow and green Bolivian flag.
The EU, US, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia have called for a runoff to restore trust and confidence in the electoral process.
Following the international outcry, Morales suggested that the Washington-based Organization of American States conduct an audit, to which its secretary-general Luis Almagro agreed.
“We have heard the position of the foreign ministries of #Colombia, #Argentina, #Brazil and the #US,” Morales tweeted. “I invite those and other countries to participate in the audit we have proposed.”
The organizaion had already expressed “surprise” and “concern” over the sudden shift in favor of Morales.
Two schools located just 2km apart in Sydney’s eastern suburbs have closed after a student at each tested positive for COVID-19. The news comes one day after all students across the state returned to the classroom full-time. Waverley College sent home the 1,100 students from its senior campus on yesterday morning, after being notified by the parents of a Year-7 boy that he had tested positive for the virus. Parents were told to come and collect their children just before 10am. Down the road, Moriah College evacuated its campus a few hours later after New South Wales (NSW) Health notified the school
‘NO REGRETS’: Boris Johnson’s aide insisted he made the ‘right judgement’ when he broke lockdown regulations, prompting Scottish lawmaker Douglas Ross to quit A UK government minister has resigned in protest after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s most senior aide refused to apologize for allegedly breaching lockdown rules. The resignation piled further pressure on Johnson to fire Dominic Cummings, his top strategist, who has refused to quit over claims that he flouted the government’s lockdown advice. The main charge against Cummings is that he ignored the government’s own orders to “stay at home” when he drove more than 400km to his parents’ property in northeast England to get childcare support for his four-year-old son. UK Minister for Scotland Douglas Ross said many voters in his district
US President Donald Trump on Sunday further limited travel from COVID-19 hotspots by denying entry to foreigners coming from Brazil. Trump had already banned certain travelers from China, Europe, the UK and Ireland and, to a lesser extent, Iran. He has not moved to ban travel from Russia, which has the world’s third-highest caseload. Trump had said last week that he was considering limiting travel from Brazil. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that the step announced on Sunday was another “decisive action to protect our country.” Brazil, now Latin America’s hardest-hit country, is second, with more than 347,000 cases and more than
POINT-BLANK RANGE: Reporters and camera people from several outlets say police officers in Minneapolis had fired tear gas and rubber bullets directly at them Multiple journalists on the ground in Minnesota said they were teargassed and subject to other attacks by police on Saturday evening, a day after the widely condemned arrest of a CNN reporter live on air. Los Angeles Times journalist Molly Hennessy-Fiske, who was reporting outside the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis, said she was with a group of about a dozen journalists when the Minnesota State Patrol “fired tear gas canisters on us at point blank range.” “I was saying: ‘Where do we go?’ They did not tell us where to go. They didn’t direct us. They just fired on us,” she said