Bolivian President Evo Morales suffered a major setback on Sunday when many Bolivians spoiled or left their ballots blank in the first elections for the country’s top judges, La Razon reported.
According to a preliminary report by polling company Ipsos Apoyo, 39% of the votes cast were valid, while 45% were spoiled and 16% blank, the La Paz-based newspaper said.
Opposition parties had called on people to spoil their ballots, saying the selection process left members of Morales’ party, the Movement Toward Socialism, with the majority of candidates, La Razon reported.
Morales had anticipated that at least 70% of ballots in Sunday’s election would support his initiative. The Bolivian election authority, which is controlled by Morales has said that official results will take days and announced a tentative date October 29.
If the percentages are confirmed over 60% of votes were spoiled or blank, which is interpreted as a major victory for the opposition parties and President Morales first electoral defeat.
Morales on Monday avoided to talk about Sunday’s results and ignored calls for the annulment of the election, nor did he answer questions from the press that had been convened allegedly for a press conference.
Opposition parties and groupings had called on voters to reject the initiative since it only pretended the control of the Judiciary by naming magistrates under control of the ruling party.
Political analyst Ricardo Paz is quoted saying that the presidential setback must be interpreted as a major rejection to an electoral process “poorly planned and even worse managed”.
“Bolivia is living a new government crisis in the midst of a structural crisis as to the organization of the state which remains unsolved”
René Toranzo, another political analyst said that Sunday’s results have exposed an ongoing debate referred to the legality and legitimacy of elected officials when with such low voting percentages.
“There is no other way out that the annulment of the elections”, agreed Toranzo with Paz.