Bolivia’s top electoral body dismisses audit demands

The Bolivian president-elect, Luis Arce Catacora (C, above), greets his supporters during a celebration of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party for the results in the general elections, in El Alto, Bolivia. (File)

La Paz, (Asian independent)┬áThe Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Bolivia’s top electoral body, reaffirmed the transparency and outcome of the October 18 general elections, and has dismissed demands for an audit of the poll process.

In a protest against the election outcome, opponents of progressive political party Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), whose candidate Luis Arce won by more than 50 per cent of the vote, have announced they will go on strike on Thursday and Friday in Santa Cruz, reports Xinhua news agency.

Reacting to the development, TSE President Salvador Romero said on Wednesday: “It is important to show the Bolivian people that on October 18, clean, transparent and safe elections were held, the results of which reflect the will of the people at the polls and that the MAS was the winner.”

He ruled out giving in to the demands of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee, comprising MAS’s opponents, noting the system was audited last year after the Organization of American States (OAS) expressed reasonable doubts.

In addition, election observers from national and international organizations, including the Carter Center, the OAS and the European Union, endorsed the results after finding no irregularities, Romero added.

Arce will be sworn in on Sunday.

On October 23, the TSE declared Arce the winner with 55.1 per cent of the votes in the general elections.

This was the first time since 1989 that the country has published the official results of a presidential election in such a short period of time.

He was officially certified as President-elect for the 2020-2025 term on October 28.