President's supporters and detractors face on the first day of “indefinite unemployment”
MADRID, Oct. 23 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, has condemned on Wednesday the violence of “groups that instigate hatred”, in the framework of the riots that have been recorded on the first day of the “indefinite strike” called by opposition organizations against the alleged victory of the indigenous leader in the elections last Sunday.
“I regret that in recent days there are groups that instigate hatred and contempt again, there are groups that appear to discriminate against the humblest families in our national territory,” he said from Cochabamba, in an act in which he has announced the construction of a water sports training center.
Shortly before, in statements to the Pan American Radio, Morales has accused the Bolivian right of “hiring criminals” to destabilize the country. “Imagine that discrimination that comes from the right,” he said, according to the official news agency ABI.
Supporters and detractors of the Bolivian president have met again on Wednesday, at the start of the “indefinite strike.” The first incidents occurred in Santa Cruz (east), an opposition stronghold, where groups of opponents have taken the Obelisk of Plan 3,000, an official symbol, and made graffiti against Morales. In addition, they have prevented some businesses from opening what has caused clashes with stones.
The president of the Civic Committee in Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camacho, had instructed its members to “not move a sepe (an ant) in Santa Cruz” during the protest day, according to the Bolivian newspaper 'Los Tiempos '.
In Trinidad, “shock groups” in “drunken state” have blocked access to the center, according to ABI. “It is an obligatory strike in the center of Trinidad,” denounced the regional secretary of Productive Development and Plural Economy, Ignacio Franco.
The Civic Committees, which bring together civil society organizations, and the National Committee in Defense of Democracy (Conade), an opposition platform, called on Tuesday an “indefinite national strike” that began at midnight on Wednesday (local time) until meeting the final results of the presidential elections of October 20.
Protests broke out Sunday night over the sudden suspension of the Transmission of Preliminary Electoral Results (TREP). Until that moment, with more than 80 percent scrutinized, the TREP gave Morales 45 percent and the opposition candidate Carlos Mesa 38 percent of the vote, forcing them to hold a second round between them next December.
The TREP resumed on Tuesday and has advanced up to 96.78 percent of scrutiny, throwing 46.49 percent for Morales and 37.01 percent for Mesa, a short distance from the ten percentage points of advantage it needs the current president to avoid the second round and get another five years of government.
Morales has proclaimed hours before his electoral victory, saying that he is “almost certain” that with the scrutiny of the votes of the rural areas he will achieve re-election, from which right now only a handful of ballots are separated.
In addition, he has denounced that “a coup d'etat” is underway by the “right with international support”. “So far we have endured and endured with patience to avoid violence,” he warned.
Mesa, meanwhile, has rejected this self-proclamation, has denounced that there is “a gigantic fraud under way” and has called on Bolivians to remain in a “permanent mobilization” until the second electoral round is held.
The Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) in Bolivia of the Organization of American States (OAS) has recommended this Wednesday that a second round be held, even if Morales wins by ten percentage points – which would give him the automatic victory– due to the “high tension” climate in the country.