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Iran Press TV

Bolivia's Morales says party will win May polls, unless fraud, coup occur

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 03 March 2020 4:01 PM

Former Bolivian president Evo Morales says that his Movement for Socialism (MAS) Party will definitely win general elections in May except if there is fraud or a coup d'état.

Morales, 60, won Bolivia's presidential election in October last year, but the military and opposition claimed that the election had been rigged, inciting street protests. Under pressure from the police and army, he was ultimately forced to step down after nearly 14 years of presidency.

Morales, who was Bolivia's first indigenous president, has settled in Argentina and has promised to continue fighting politically from exile.

"We are sure that we are going to win the elections. Only a fraud or a coup can get in the way," Morales said in an interview with Reuters.

"We are preparing internally on how to take care of the vote. And if we win, then the coup," he added, convinced that his rivals would attempt to unseat the MAS.

Morales stressed that the Bolivian right and the US had prevented his presidential term from completing and had blocked his subsequent Senate candidacy, blaming them for trying to keep his party out of power.

Bolivian prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Morales over allegations of sedition and terrorism, leveled by the government of Jeanine Anez, Bolivia's right-wing interim president. The leftist leader has strongly denied the charges.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Morales cited a recent, independent analysis of the October election conducted by academics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)'s Election Data and Science Lab, which cast doubt on the confirmation of irregularities in the poll by the Organization of American States (OAS).

The findings of the MIT analysis – which Morales took as evidence that the October vote had been clean – showed that it was "very likely" that the leftist leader won the vote by the 10 percentage points needed to avoid a runoff.

"There is not any statistical evidence of fraud that we can find – the trends in the preliminary count, the lack of any big jump in support for Morales after the halt, and the size of Morales' margin all appear legitimate. All in all, the OAS's statistical analysis and conclusions would appear deeply flawed," wrote John Curiel and Jack R Williams, both from MIT, in their analysis published on The Washington Post last week.

Morales, who resigned after the OAS audit, has been prevented from running in the May general elections but is supporting his former economy minister, Luis Arce Catacora, as the candidate for his party.

The former president did not rule out taking his claims of an alleged coup d'état in the October polls – which he says the OAS promoted – to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

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