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MIT Study: No Evidence of ‘Election Fraud’ in Bolivia That Resulted in Coup

Real transparency: Bolivia’s president publishes his government’s financial account on billboards (Photo: Andre Vltchek 2019©)
Real transparency: Bolivia’s president publishes his government’s financial account on billboards
(Photo: Andre Vltchek 2019©)

Antiwar.com reports…

Back in November 2019, former Bolivian President Evo Morales was ousted in a coup after claims of election fraud from the Organization for American States (OAS). A new MIT study into the October 20th presidential election does not support the conclusions of the OAS and casts further doubt on the already flimsy claims. Much damage has already been done, Morales fled the country, members of his Movimento al Socialismo (MAS) party have been arrested, and dozens of his supporters were shot and killed by police in the unrest that followed the coup.

The claims of election fraud stem from a 24-hour pause of the preliminary count system on election day. The counting was paused after 84 percent of the votes were tallied, at the time it showed Morales leading his closest opponent Carlos Mesa by just under eight percent. When the counting resumed the next day, Morales’ lead increased to over 10 percent. In Bolivia’s election system, a candidate is required to have over 40 percent of the votes, and a 10 percent lead to their nearest opponent to prevent a runoff vote.

The OAS claims that during this 24-hour pause in the preliminary count, manipulations occurred that resulted in Morales taking a large enough lead to prevent the runoff vote. The new MIT study examined the data and concluded, “The OAS’s claim that the stopping of the trep (preliminary count) during the Bolivian election produced an oddity in the voting trend is contradicted by the data … Therefore, we cannot find results that would lead us to the same conclusion as the OAS. We find it is very likely that Morales won the required 10 percentage point margin to win in the first round of the election on October 20, 2019.”

The MIT study was commissioned by the Center for Economic Policy and Policy Research (CEPR). The CEPR conducted their own study on the election shortly after it happened that found “no evidence that irregularities or fraud affected the official result that gave President Evo Morales a first-round victory.” In a press release that came out with the MIT study, CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said, “The OAS greatly misled the media and the public about what happened in Bolivia’s elections, and helped to foster a great deal of mistrust in the electoral process and the results.”

Continue this story at Antiwar.com…

READ MORE BOLIVIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Bolivia Files




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