President Evo Morales of Bolivia has
narrowly lost a referendum to allow him to
stand for a fourth term in office, exit polls
One poll suggests 52.3% voted against the
proposal to amend the constitution, while
another suggests it was 51%.
The change would have let Mr Morales, who
says he needs more time for reforms, remain
in power until 2025.
Opposition supporters have been celebrating
the referendum result in parts of the main
city, La Paz
Mr Morales, an indigenous Aymara and former
coca leaf producer, took office in January
Referendum: All you need to know
Profile: Evo Morales
The president’s current term ends in 2020.
He is still a popular leader, in part because he
is Bolivia’s first head of state of indigenous
origin, and the economy has grown steadily
over the past decade, the BBC’s Americas
Editor, Leonardo Rocha, reports.
But many thought Evo Morales should not be
allowed to serve 19 consecutive years as
president, our editor adds.
Appeal for caution
Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera urged
people to wait for the official results.
“Opinion polls, especially exit polls, make
mistakes,” he told reporters.
“They don’t take into account the vote abroad.
They don’t go to the more remote locations,
where there is more support for our socialist
“It’s highly likely that the numbers shown by
the opinion polls will be very different from
the reality.”
Vote counting has been slower than usual.
The electoral authorities say the delay is
affecting mostly ballots from rural areas,
which largely support the president.
In the eastern province of Santa Cruz, angry
voters set fire to ballot papers and ballot boxes
after a delay to the opening of several polling
stations.more at >>>

source : BBC

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