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Under pressure Bolivian president calls for new elections

Evo Morales made the announcement following a review which found irregularities in the October 20 presidential elections.

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Bolivia’s president Evo Morales (Juan Karita/AP)

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales (Juan Karita/AP)

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales (Juan Karita/AP)

Bolivian president Evo Morales is calling for new elections following nationwide protests over a disputed vote he claimed he had won.

Mr Morales made the announcement on Sunday after a preliminary report by the Organisation of American States (OAS) found irregularities in the October 20 presidential elections.

The politician did not mention the OAS report but called on all political parties and all sectors to help bring peace to the Andean nation after protests in which three people have been killed.

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Police officers on top of a security booth at a police station wave Bolivian flags in front of protesters in La Paz (Juan Karita/AP)

Police officers on top of a security booth at a police station wave Bolivian flags in front of protesters in La Paz (Juan Karita/AP)

AP/PA Images

Police officers on top of a security booth at a police station wave Bolivian flags in front of protesters in La Paz (Juan Karita/AP)

Mr Morales declared himself the outright winner after the October 20 vote, even before official results indicated he had gained just enough support to avoid a runoff with opposition leader Carlos Mesa.

But a 24-hour lapse in releasing vote results raised suspicions among opposition supporters that there had been fraud.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis was urging Bolivians, including its politicians, to calmly await the outcome of the disputed election review.

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Speaking in St Peter’s Square in Vatican City, the religious leader urged all Bolivians, “in particular political and social players, to await with a constructive spirit, and without any previous condition, in a climate of peace and serenity” the results of the review.


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