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Morales claims victory in Bolivia's presidential election

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Morales claims victory in Bolivia's presidential election

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Bolivia’s Evo Morales has declared victory in the country’s presidential election, giving him a third consecutive term.

Exit polls point to him having taken over 60 percent of the vote.

His winning margin is in line with opinion polls ahead of the election which also forecast the former coca grower’s Movement Toward Socialism party would maintain its grip on Congress.

He needs only 50 percent to avoid a second round run-off.

Only one of his four challengers made any impact. Samuel Doria Medina, who had vowed to clean up the judiciary if elected, garnered a mere 24 percent.

Morales’ popularity is based on welfare programmes financed by Bolivia’s nationalised gas industry. But he has been criticised for failing to tackle corruption.