Bolivia's electoral court to resume presidential ballot count
LA PAZ, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Bolivia's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) on Monday said it will resume counting ballots at midday, following Sunday's closely-watched general elections.
A rapid count late Sunday showed the incumbent, President Evo Morales, won but not by enough to avoid a runoff on Dec. 15.
With 83 percent of the votes counted, Morales of the Movement Towards Socialism garnered a little over 45 percent of the votes compared to 38 percent for his closest rival, ex-president Carlos Mesa of Citizen Community.
To win outright, Bolivian law requires a candidate to get more than 50 percent of the vote or more than 40 percent of the vote with a 10-percent lead over his or her closest rival.
The remainder of the votes were distributed among seven other candidates.
Election officials still have some 16 percent of ballots to tabulate, a scenario that has generated expectation among both the ruling and opposition parties.
The government called on the international community to follow the process of counting the remainder of the ballots to ensure transparency.
Both Morales and Mesa have thanked voters for their support as they await the official outcome.
Nearly 7 million Bolivians were registered to vote for a continuation of Morales' presidency or a change in government, as well as the 130 members of the Chamber of Deputies, 36 members of the Senate and nine regional representatives that comprise the Legislative Assembly, for the 2020-2025 period.