LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) - Bolivian President Evo Morales is falling just a little short of outright victory in his bid for a fourth term as the final votes are counted in an election that has enraged his opponents.
The leftist leader needs a 10-percentage-point margin over his closest competitor to avoid a December runoff in which he’d risk being defeated by a united opposition.
And the vote count Wednesday morning had him with a 9.48 percentage point lead with just 3.22 percent of the votes from Sunday’s election left to count. He leads former President Carlos Mesa 46.49% to 37.01%.
Mesa has warned of fraud and international vote monitors have expressed concern at an earlier unexplained daylong gap in reporting results. Opposition backers have staged rowdy protests since the vote.