December 18, 2005

Bolivian Elections: Facts, Figures and Reports

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Now, the counting has began. All that is left to do is to wait for the counting to finish. I will not even attempt to follow the counting. It wold be a very long night for me. I will post the results as soon as they come out.


Update 4: There are more reports on voter invalidation. The red erbol has an aproximation. According to their flash survey there are around 25 800 people who'll not be able to vote. In some cases there are whole towns who weren't able to vote. For example, in the town of Pongo, La Paz, out of 1875 registered voters, there were 1240 who could not vote. In Guayaremerin, Beni, out of 13000 voters, 7000 could not vote.

Just to highlight that these are preliminary reports.


17:07 pm

Update 3: Voter invalidation has become a worrying issue and rests credibility to the process.

Affected regions

Santa Cruz: In the town of San Julian (north of Santa Cruz) there were irregularities. A contingent of invalidated voters wanted to take over the ballots and burn them. In Palmazola witnesses report about 40% of voters could not vote for invalidation. It is believed the targets were MAS supporters (digital intervention).

La Paz: In the northern part of the city there were many invalidations. Many people came out to vote late in the afternoon and learned too late they could not vote.

Cochabamba: Invalidation cases were wide spread, for example Sacaba, Quintanilla (500 voters in two tables).

Sucre: In the whole region there are pereliminary reports of 1200 people ivalidated in one town and 1468 in another. Sorry no names for the towns. But the reports are in the tousands.

According to unofficial reports from the Departmental Electoral Code or CDE there are around 1 million invalidated. That is about the size of the difference between eligible voters in the municipal elections 2004 and this elections. Officials are saying it is the foult of the people, because they did not register themselves in time.

The conclusions are that the legitimacy of the electoral process is in question and the process of eligibility is put in serious question. The CNE has a lot to explain.


Update 2: The ballots are closed and the counting begins.


Update 1: Many interesting things are happening in Bolivia while the voting process is going on. It is just about before closing the ballot boxes (4 pm). The voting has been pretty regular all over the territory, however there are increasingly many alarming reports of voter invalidation. At around 12 pm, in La Paz, there were some 200 people complaining in front of the National Electoral Court (CNE) as to why were their names taken off the voting lists. According to the law, people who voted in the las municipal elections, were registered to vote this time around. Now, when people showed up to vote, thinking they voted in the last elections, their names were not in the lists. This is not confined only to La Paz. There are an increasing amoung of reports around the country saying that people are being invalidades for some reason or the other. One serious report says that in Monteagudo province, Chuquisaca, 40% of voters could not vote. The vice-president candidate from MAS, Garcia Linera voiced his concern while he was voting in La Paz.

Now the problem is not so much that the people are worried about their lost vote. The worry is that since the vote is obligatory per law, the citizens have to get their voting certification. Without this certification they cannot do any paperwork and they will get fined. This voting certificate is a very important document for the next year or so.

At the same time, the gobernability horizon already looks dire after the resolution coming out of the National Worker's Popular Summit threatens that the El Alto demands should be attended within 90 days by whoever wins the elections. Otherwise, there'll be trouble.


Here I post some facts and figures about the elections.

Eligible voters: 3.679.886 million

Electoral tables: 121,000

Elections begin: 8:00 am

Elections end: 4:00 pm

International observers: 200 from 124 countries

Bolivia returned to democracy: October 10, 1982

Number of consecutive elections: 5 (1985, 1989, 1993, 1997, 2002)

Mobilized military and police forces: 50,000

Everything has started well and according to plan. The CNE must be happy. Evo Morales has already voted at 8:45 am in his district in Chapare. Quiroga will vote at 2 pm.

More updates as I hear them.