Bolivian President Morales announces new elections

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Bolivia's President Evo Morales bows to pressure and starts new elections. He also announced on Sunday also to exchange the electoral commission. When asked if he would compete again, he remained vague. "Nominations must now be secondary," he said on the radio. "Priority is given to the reassurance of Bolivia." His challenger Carlos Mesa challenged Morales to abandon a candidacy.

Morales had come under increasing pressure in recent days. The Organization of American States (OAS) recommended new elections on Sunday for allegedly finding serious irregularities in the October 20 poll. "The manipulations of computer systems are so severe that they need to be thoroughly investigated by the state," the conclusion. The responsible persons would have to be found. Therefore, the election must be canceled and come to new elections.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini described Morales' announcement that it was launching a new electoral process as "positive". "We call on all parties involved, especially the authorities, to live up to their democratic responsibilities and to make the appropriate decisions to bring about rapid reconciliation and avoid further violence," Mogherini said on Sunday.

At the October election, Morales and Mesa were initially head-to-head. The count was then interrupted for a day. After their resumption led the left Morales, who ruled the country since 2006, by a margin of ten percentage points. This triggered massive protests. The OAS also statistically called it "unlikely" that it had come to such a large lead.

Morales' challenger in the presidential election, Carlos Mesa, called for the resignation of the head of state on Sunday if he "still has a spark of patriotism." Neither Morales nor his vice president Alvaro Garcia are "able to lead the electoral process". An offer from Morales rejected Mesa. There is "nothing to negotiate with Morales and his government," he said.

Luis Fernando Camacho, a leader of recent protests, spoke of "clear electoral fraud" and called on Morales to resign. Morales had spoken in connection with the protests of a "coup" violent groups against him. He was backed by the controversial left Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

In protest against the election result so far three people were killed, more than 250 others were injured. On Saturday, protesters occupied the headquarters of two state broadcasters. Employees of Bolivia TV and Radio Patria Nueva left the station building in the capital, La Paz, on Saturday with the boos of hundreds of demonstrators. On Friday, units of the elite police unit Utop in several cities had sided with the demonstrators.



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