Runner-up Mesa concedes defeat in Bolivian presidential race
LA PAZ, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The runner-up in Bolivia's presidential race, Carlos Mesa of the Citizen Community (CC) party, on Monday conceded defeat to rival Luis Arce Catacora, candidate of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS).
The result of exit polls by two pollsters showed Arce won with a sizeable lead that was unlikely to narrow as the official count by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) continued, Mesa said at a press conference.
"The outcome is very clear and the difference between first place and us is very wide. It is up to us, as appropriate in a democracy, to recognize the victory of the MAS," said Mesa.
The TSE plans to announce the definitive results in the next few days.
According to Mesa, the CC alliance is poised to lead the opposition faction within Bolivia's Plurinational Legislative Assembly.
Arce is the virtual winner of Sunday's general elections, garnering more than 50 percent of the votes, according to exit polls by pollsters Ciesmori and Jubileo.
According to Ciesmori, Arce obtained 52.4 percent of the votes, Mesa 31.5 percent, and third placed candidate Luis Fernando Camacho of Creemos coalition 14.1 percent.
Jubileo reported that Arce got 53 percent of the votes, Mesa 30.8 percent, and Camacho 14.1 percent.
The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, and several Latin American governments, including in Cuba, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina, congratulated the MAS on winning, and with enough votes to forego a runoff.
Jeanine Anez, head of Bolivia's opposition-backed interim government, also congratulated the MAS early on Monday. Enditem