Protesters clash with police as Bolivia opposition candidate contests election

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Bolivian President Evo Morales is slated for victory in a highly contentious election after authorities issued a fresh vote tally, prompting claims of fraud from the opposition and chaotic protests across the country.

Following a 24-hour pause in the vote count by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), the agency updated its tally late on Monday – accounting for over 95 percent of the ballots – putting Morales just over the 10 percent lead needed to win and avoid a run-off election with rival Carlos Mesa. Morales is currently vying to serve an unprecedented fourth term as president under the Movement for Socialism Party.

The previous figure – issued before the pause on Sunday with some 84 percent of the votes counted – suggested Morales was unlikely to secure the needed margin for victory, sparking allegations of fraud from the Citizen Community Party leader Mesa and his supporters, some of whom took to the streets to protest ahead of the final count.

In videos posted online, opposition demonstrators could be seen setting fire to a TSE headquarters in Bolivia’s capital of Sucre, while similar angry crowds were spotted burning election materials in the southern city of Tarija.

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