Bolivian President Evo Morales is claiming a landslide re-election victory. Voters are said to have backed his left-wing reforms giving him greater state control over the economy.
Morales is hugely popular among the Indian majority. Their support, earlier this year, cleared the way for him to run for a second consecutive term.
Addressing cheering supporters Morales said: “This win tonight is not only for Bolivians. This win is basically a fair recognition, a dedication to anti-imperialist presidents, governments and peoples.“
Morales won 63 per cent of the vote according to exit polls, representing a 36 per cent lead over his closest rival, right-wing former governor Manfred Reyes Villa.
Critics fear Morales is amassing too much power. He has been accused of persecuting political rivals among the conservative opposition in the months leading up to the vote.
If confirmed, the extent of his victory means Morales will also gain control of Congress making it easier for him to carry out economic reforms during his five-year second term allowing him to increase social spending on the poor.
Leftist Bolivian president claims re-election victory