Bolivia’s Mesa accepts election defeat after rapid vote count indicates solid victory for socialist Arce

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Luis Arce, presidential candidate of the Movement to Socialism party, gestures from a vehicle in La Paz, Bolivia October 19, 2020. © Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino
Luis Arce, from ex-leader Evo Morales’ party, on course to win Bolivian presidency – exit polls

Bolivia was sent into political turmoil last November, after long-term socialist leader Evo Morales was forced to resign amid mass protests and pressure from the country’s military. The unrest was sparked by allegations of vote rigging, however Morales and the socialists have described his removal as “forced” and a “coup.” The ousted president left for Mexico, and later went on to Argentina.

The ousting of Morales, however, did not calm things in Bolivia. The right-wing interim government faced huge protests and strikes staged by Morales’ supporters, and responded by deploying heavy-handed policing measures.

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