1st LD: Luis Arce declared as Bolivia's president-elect

Socilaist candidate Luis Arce waving to his supporters ahead of the election that propelled him to Bolivia's presidency     AFP

Bolivia's electoral tribunal on Friday published official results from last weekend's presidential election, confirming leftist Luis Arce's landslide victory.

With all ballots now counted, Arce finished with 55 per cent of the vote - he won with no need for a run-off.

Morales is living in exile in Argentina, but remains the president of Arce's party, the Movement Toward Socialism, and played a key role in picking Arce as the party's candidate. "We declare Luis Arce as President-elect of Bolivia and David Choquehuanca as Vice President-elect", Xinhua news agency quoted TSE chief Salvador Romero as saying during a ceremony in La Paz on Friday.

The vote was expected to resolve the crisis that has engulfed the country since Morales stepped down in November of a year ago after a controversial presidential election sparked mass protests.

Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, served for nearly 14 years but last year stood for - and initially won - an unconstitutional fourth consecutive term.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has offered congratulations to Bolivia on the election of its new president, expressing Tehran's support for the country's new government.

This time, the top electoral body abandoned the planned rapid count to avoid a repeat of last year's controversy and concentrated on the arduous manual count of votes that took more than five days to complete.

Governments and observers have widely heralded the election for being peaceful and transparent - in contrast to the 2019 vote which led to running street battles between party supporters and security forces and the deaths of over 30 people.

Over 7.3 million people were eligible to vote in the general elections that were held on October 18 to select a new president and vice president, as well as senators and deputies for the constitutional period of 2020-2025. Voting is mandatory in Bolivia for adults under 60.



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