[News] Morales' MAS Won October Polls Fairly, Will Win Again Unless Anez Gov't Defrauds Voters

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Mar 13 14:14:20 EDT 2020


  Morales' MAS Won October Polls Fairly, Will Win Again Unless Anez
  Gov't Defrauds Voters

March 13, 2020

*MIT researchers have thrown the Organisation of American States’ (OAS) 
audit of Bolivia’s October elections into question. According to La 
Resistencia Bolivian journalist Alberto Echazu, the OAS should be held 
responsible for the November coup, especially given that the same entity 
was invited by the de facto government to monitor the 3 May vote*.

By Ekaterina Blinova

On 27 February, John Curiel and Jack R. Williams from the Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology (MIT) published an op-ed in The Washington Post 
revealing that the Organisation of American States’ (OAS) statistical 
analysis and conclusions about the Bolivian October election’s “fraud” 
appear to be “deeply flawed”.

In response, the OAS denounced the report as “neither honest, nor 
fact-based nor comprehensive” and stated that it stood by its findings.

Back in October 2019, the OAS’ preliminary audit of the voting in 
Bolivia became the trigger for the nation-wide unrest which subsequently 
led to the ousting of the country’s President Evo Morales, the 
persecution of members of his Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party and 
violence resulting in loss of life.

*OAS Audit’s Flawed, International Researchers Say*

    “[The MIT] study is just one in a series of studies by researchers
    from around the world that found the OAS report flawed and just an
    excuse to back the coup that was already in progress,” says Alberto
    Echazu, a political analyst and journalist with La Resistencia
    Bolivia. “All of them, including a large number of academics and
    intellectuals, have stated that there is no evidence to support the
    fraud storyline.”

Indeed, on 22 October 2019 the Washington DC-based Center for Economic 
and Policy Research (CEPR) released a statement outlining the flaws in 
the OAS audit on the heels of the election drama. The think tank 
continued to raise the alarm over the OAS’ data and methods in November 
and later commissioned MIT Election Data and Science Lab researchers to 
independently verify the numerical and statistical results of CEPR’s 
final study.

Apart from this, on 2 December, The Guardian published a letter signed 
by 98 economists and researchers who called upon the OAS “to retract its 
misleading statements about the election, which have contributed to the 
political conflict.”

Among other matters, the statisticians draw attention to the fact that 
the OAS released a fallacious press release on 21 October which claimed 
that there had been a “drastic and hard-to-explain change in the trend 
of the preliminary results.” The entity – that is partially funded by 
the US – referred to a pause in the “quick count”: with 84% of the votes 
tallied up, Morales led with 7.9% points; after a break, with 95% 
ballots counted, his margin mounted over 10%. The researchers elaborate 
that this change was “neither ‘drastic’ nor ‘hard to explain'”, 
concluding that Morales did win in October.

    “For any common person familiar with Bolivia’s history and
    territorial configuration, it is general knowledge that the voting
    from rural areas comes in significantly later, as they are located
    far away from capital cities, and these are the regions where MAS
    has almost absolute support,” explains Echazu.”This alone would
    negate the idea that there was a change in the trend after the
    preliminary count was halted. In that regard, the studies just
    confirm technically what common sense and general knowledge would

The journalist reveals that “MAS is going to demand that the OAS answer 
for the violations against human rights and assassinations that took 
place after its report was published, making the OAS and its General 
Secretary, Luis Almagro, responsible for the coup and the establishment 
of a de facto government.”

RELATED CONTENT: The Organization of American States Is Eroding Faith in 

He notes that the de facto Anez government is trying to discredit and 
mute the latest study by MIT by groundlessly claiming that it was 
conducted at the request of Morales supporters.

*How La Paz is Disrupting the MAS Campaign*
At the same time, La Paz is continuing to throw sand in the MAS gears 
ahead of the 3 May elections, the journalist highlights. In late 
February Bolivia’s supreme electoral tribunal disqualified Evo Morales, 
who was granted political asylum in Argentina, from running for Senate 
because he no longer met residency requirements.

Speaking to Reuters in early March, the former Bolivian president 
lambasted La Paz and their alleged US backers for preventing him from 
running for the presidency and Senate. Having said that he has no doubts 
that MAS would come out on top again, he voiced serious concerns about 
the forthcoming 3 May vote arranged by the country’s political right 
with OAS and USAID assistance, presuming that it could be fraudulent or 
followed by a coup.

    These are Bolivian MAS supporters, arriving for a rally in Chuquisaca.

    Demographically (class, ethnicity, culture), this march is the exact
    opposite of the protests against Evo before the coup.
    pic.twitter.com/PDRLBWtQii <https://t.co/PDRLBWtQii>

    — Ollie Vargas (@OVargas52) March 9, 2020

Echazu outlines a series of measures taken by the de facto government 
which were aimed at disrupting the left-leaning party’s campaign.

“First, there is an attempt to proscribe MAS’ candidates”, he says. “The 
de facto government has already started a campaign to find a cause, any 
one would do, to nullify Luis Arce’s presidential candidacy. There is no 
case against him, so it will take an illegal action to keep him off the 

Arce remains by far the strongest candidate in the presidential race, 
according to the recent polls, with the facto interim president Jeanine 
Anez and Carlos Mesa tied in second place.

“The de facto regime is very well aware of Arce’s strength, so an action 
to challenge his candidacy, probably in the final days of the electoral 
campaign, is to be expected,” the journalist warns.

    Bolivia's MAS presidential candidate, Luis Arce and VP candidate,
    David Choquehuanca, given a hero's welcome in the rural town of
    Culpina, Chuquisaca.

    The urban area of this region (Sucre) is a hotbed of racism and
    discrimination. But the rural workers here back the MAS.
    pic.twitter.com/YqPz7TTIrI <https://t.co/YqPz7TTIrI>

    — Ollie Vargas (@OVargas52) March 6, 2020

*Second*, there is a media blockade imposed by La Paz, according to Echazu:

RELATED CONTENT: Bolivia’s Añez in Her Labyrinth 

No MAS demonstrations and rallies are being covered by the 
government-controlled media.

· Information about the November could is silenced.

· Studies demonstrating the absence of fraud in the last election by 
researchers and institutions are suppressed.

· Condemnations of human rights violations in Bolivia by the de facto 
government issued by international institutions are censored.

· Little if any news emerge in the media about Morales and 
demonstrations in his favour have been held around the world during his 
exile in Argentina, according to the journalist.

    “This, of course, affects the [MAS] campaign, as the regime is
    trying to show a peaceful country, where everything is fine and the
    only people that oppose the ‘transitional government’ are the
    delinquent fanatics who are MAS supporters,” he emphasises.

*Third*, the de facto government demonstrates its intent to prevent MAS 
from mobilising and holding demonstrations ahead of the elections, the 
journalist points out.

“It is the case of the tropics area of Cochabamba, where the federations 
of coca leaf producers are located, a symbolic stronghold of MAS,” he 
explains. “The de facto government has threatened them with calling off 
the election in that region if they march into the capital city of 
Cochabamba, this is, not allowing them to vote.”

*Finally*, [there are] attacks and persecution against alternative 
media, including La Resistencia Bolivia, Echazu highlights.

    Bolivian press worker Rene Esteban Guarachi denounces his arrest and
    beating by Añez regime forces in El Alto, for his crime of covering
    police repression on Thursday in Senkata. (1 of 3)
    pic.twitter.com/ESz3Vj4kfn <https://t.co/ESz3Vj4kfn>

    — Camila (@camilateleSUR) March 8, 2020

“[The government says] we are seditious and cyber-terrorists, so we can 
expect to be put in jail at any given moment if we maintain our 
anti-government editorial line and with our coverage of the repression, 
as it is happening while I am writing these words, the repression 
against citizens of El Alto has a new chapter and a journalist that was 
at the scene was arrested,” he emphasises.

/Featured image: © AFP 2020 / ALEJANDRO PAGNI/

Source URL: Sputnik 

Edited by OT/EF


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