Twice postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sunday’s election was a do-over of last year’s presidential contest, which was thrown into chaos after the U.S.-dominated Organization of American States (OAS) leveled baseless allegations of “fraud” by Morales, who was eventually forced to resign and flee the country under threat by Bolivia’s military.
The coup against Morales sparked a wave of Indigenous-led protests that were violently repressed by the Bolivian military and police forces, which were granted sweeping immunity from prosecution by the anti-Indigenous Añez government.
“The OAS allegations were indeed the main political foundation of the coup that followed the October 20 election three weeks later,” Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, wrote last month. “But they provided no evidence to support these allegations—because there wasn’t any. This has since been established repeatedly by a slew of expert statistical studies.”
From exile in Argentina, Morales on Monday celebrated Arce’s apparent victory as a “great triumph of the people.”
“Brothers and sisters: the will of the people has been asserted,” Morales tweeted. “This is an overwhelming victory… We are going to give dignity and liberty back to the people.”
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