The departmental electoral courts (TED) of La Paz, Potosí, Chuquisaca and Cochabamba have declared on Monday the state of alert to what they have called “vandalism” and have suspended the counting of votes.
The vice president of the TED of La Paz, Juan Pablo Torrez, has justified the decision taken on the grounds that there are no guarantees for the staff, as reported by the local newspaper 'Página Siete'.
However, several witnesses have indicated that the ballots were being kept at an address on Panama Street, where clashes have also been registered between police officers and protesters. As images shown on the social network Twitter show, these ballots were marked in favor of the government's Movement for Socialism (MAS) of the current president, Evo Morales.
“They have been registering different acts of violence against our teams, our electoral notaries and TED electoral personnel, as is the case of Panama Avenue, where 30 people have confiscated electoral material that was heading to the TED, to these facilities to do the computation, “explained Torrez.
In this sense, he has warned that a member of the TED has been taken as a “hostage”, which has forced him to request the intervention of the security forces to guarantee the integrity of the people.
“Actions are being announced, a concentration of confronted people are moving to the facilities of the computer center, there is an alarm situation that we have the need to communicate,” he said.
Thus, he stressed that “it has been decided to declare an intermediate room in the departmental calculation of results as long as the law enforcement forces restore the security of the facilities.”
As indicated by the information of the newspaper 'Los Tiempos', the rector of the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Waldo Albarracín, presents wounds in the face after the police launched tear gas in the vicinity of the Real Plaza hotel, in La Paz . “I want to tell MAS that the dictatorship will not last,” he said.
THE DISTURBES EXTEND TO OTHER AREAS
Complaints about electoral crimes and fraud in favor of officialism not only occurred in La Paz, they have also been extended to other areas of the country. The Potosí Departmental Electoral Court, in whose vicinity there have been barricades, has also paralyzed the count until the transparency of the process is guaranteed.
“The clear position before we leave this meeting is that the scrutiny has to be paralyzed. The scrutiny is the counting of votes that they are doing now they have to paralyze until everything that is happening at the departmental level is clarified,” said the president of the Potosinist Civic Committee (Comcipo), Marco Antonio Pumari.
In Sucre, the capital of the country, protesters have set fire to the facilities of the TED of Chuquisaca in the framework of the violent protests registered in the city before allegations of electoral fraud, according to local media. There have also been clashes between police and protesters.
The president of the Pro Santa Cruz Civic Committee, Luis Fernando Camacho, has called on the population to mobilize since Tuesday at noon and has announced a nationwide strike. “Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 12:00 we begin to stop this country,” he announced at the gates of Fexpocruz, where the TED computer center is located. There would have been seriously injured a cameraman, who the security forces have had to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation maneuvers.
In Santa Cruz there have also been long lines of vehicles waiting before the gas stations to refuel, while in Tarija – where it was possible to scrutinize the totality of the votes -, Oruro and Cochabamba there have been clashes, mobilizations, burning of electoral records and suitcases and fires.
The opposition candidate for the Presidency, Carlos Mesa, has held the Government responsible for the “day of violence lived in Bolivia” and has expressed its solidarity with Albarracín, who has been injured in the La Paz protests.
“The Government, with its decision to circumvent the will of the people, is solely responsible for the violence that threatens Bolivia. My solidarity with Albarracín, brutally assaulted by mass violence. We will not give up!”
For its part, the National Unity Front has denounced in a statement “electoral fraud” and serious irregularities “such as interrupting the spread of the quick count and changing the results.”
“In spite of the sabotage to the Unit of several functional candidates to the MAS, the citizenship has joined in the election and obtained the necessary vote to go to the second round”, picks up the text, which demands “respect” to said round.
“We demand to recount all the acts in a public way, a count made by international observers. We demand the resignation of the TSE and subsequent prosecution of its members for the crime of electoral fraud and call for calm and peaceful and democratic mobilization to defend the people's vote” , holds the formation.