Bolivian Presidential Election: Socialists Claim Victory as Unofficial Count Shows Big Win

Arce, a former economy minister under Morales, sounded confident of victory without explicitly claiming the win at his own press conference shortly after midnight in the Bolivian capital La Paz.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Bolivia’s socialist candidate Luis Arce looks set to win the country’s presidential election without the need for a run-off, an unofficial count indicated on Monday, putting the leftwing party of former President Evo Morales on the brink of a return to power.

The quick-count from pollster Ciesmori, released by Bolivian TV channel Unitel around midnight on Sunday, showed Arce had 52.4 percent of valid votes, more than 20 percentage points above the second place centrist rival Carlos Mesa, who had 31.5 percent.

The official count had reached just 5 percent . . .

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