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Bolivia Foreign Minister: OAS audit of October 20 election result will be "binding"

Bolivia Foreign Minister: OAS audit of October 20 election result will be "binding"
People block a road as they take part in a protest in La Paz, Bolivia, October 30, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach -
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KAI PFAFFENBACH(Reuters)
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By Vivian Sequera

LA PAZ (Reuters) – An Organisation of American States (OAS) audit of Bolivia’s disputed election results will begin on Thursday and be binding for all parties, Foreign Minister Diego Pary said on Wednesday.

The results of the Oct. 20 election handed a slim victory to President Evo Morales, a leftist seeking a fourth term, but his opponent Carlos Mesa and his supporters cried foul after a delay in publishing the voting scores.

Pary said that the report resulting from the review would be “binding” for all parties, who would sign an agreement to that effect on Wednesday.

He said Bolivia had invited observers to the process from Spain, Mexico and Paraguay. He did not say when the audit report would be completed.

“This agreement will enter into force upon signature by the authorized representatives of the parties, remaining in force until the electoral audit process is concluded,” he told reporters at the government headquarters in La Paz.

Mesa said on Tuesday that he believed the OAS audit would demonstrate that the election was fraudulent “in a clear and unequivocal way”.

A wave of protests has rocked Bolivia since the elections in which the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) unexpectedly suspended the publication of results of an electronic vote count, which eventually granted Morales a fourth term of five years.

(Reporting by Vivian Sequera, writing by Aislinn Laing; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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