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Archive for Monday, December 7, 2009

President wins re-election victory

December 7, 2009

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— President Evo Morales easily won re-election Sunday, according to unofficial results, getting an overwhelming mandate for further revolutionary change on behalf of Bolivia’s long-suppressed indigenous majority.

Morales’ allies also won a convincing majority in both houses of Congress.

Opponents say they fear the coca-growers’ union leader will use his consolidated power not just to continue reversing racially based inequalities but also to trample human rights and deepen state influence over the economy.

Unofficial counts of 98 percent of the vote by two polling firms said Bolivia’s first indigenous president won with 63 percent of the ballots — 36 points ahead of his closest challenger in a field of nine candidates.

Jubilant supporters waving Bolivian flags jumped up and down in La Paz’s central Murillo square after polls closed, chanting “Evo! Evo!”

Manfred Reyes, a center-right former state governor and military officer, conceded soon after. He won 27 percent of the vote, according to the unofficial tallies.

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