In yet another blow to President Evo Morales, Bolivians in Chuquisaca have elected an opposition figure as their new governor, according to exit polls. The result puts seven of the South American country’s nine provinces in opposition hands.
Adding to Morales’ woes, the winner, indigenous activist, Savina Cuellar, is a former ally. She split from the president after last year’s riots over constitutional reform.
On Saturday night, an unidentified group attacked television and radio transmitters in Sucre, the capital of the Chuquisaca province and the consitutional capital of the country.
All but the state television channel were knocked off air temporarily.
One of Cuellar’s priorities is to hold an autonomy referendum which could see Chuquisaca added to a list of four provinces that have already voted to distance themselves from La Paz.
The movement began in Santa Cruz, Bolivia’s richest province, which held a ballot back in May.
Morales reacted by announcing a nationwide recall vote for August. But five provinces say they will ignore the announcement.
The Chuquisaca result appears to be another indication that momentum is tilting against the leftist president who may be forced into an early general election.