South America

Bolivian elections: Protests and unrest as accusations of coup, election fraud fly

0:00

Bolivian President Evo Morales has described protests after a disputed election as an attempted 'coup'.

Bolivian President Evo Morales has accused his opponents of trying to stage a coup against him after a disputed election that he claims he won outright,

The official vote count late on Wednesday had him with a 9.87-point lead with just 2.36 per cent of the votes from Sunday's election left to count.

He led former President Carlos Mesa 46.7 per cent to 36.83 per cent.

Protesters run away from tear gas fired by the police during an anti-government march against the reelection of President Morales.
Protesters run away from tear gas fired by the police during an anti-government march against the reelection of President Morales.
AP

Authorities said the counting process had been hampered because of attacks on vote-count centres in three regions.

International vote monitors expressed concern at an unexplained daylong gap in reporting results before a sudden spurt in Morales' vote percentage.

Police stand guard outside the  top electoral court as protesters approach.
Police stand guard outside the top electoral court as protesters approach.
AP

Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, repeated his claim that he won outright and said his opponents were conspiring to oust him.

"I want to denounce to the people and the world that a coup d'etat is underway," Morales said at a news conference at which he did not take any questions. "The right-wing has prepared for it with international support."

With wires...

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch