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Bolivia’s Morales rebukes OAS observer mission, defends disputed presidential vote win

Bolivia’s Morales rebukes OAS observer mission, defends disputed presidential vote win

Bolivian President Evo Morales has rebuked a regional election observer mission on Thursday for questioning the legitimacy of what he said was an outright win for him in the first round of a disputed election.

The leftist leader has edged to a decisive 10-point lead over his main rival in the count, following Sunday’s election, which saw protests and marches erupt in key cities, Reuters reported.

Morales said that observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) had slandered him by raising what it called “serious doubts” about the election. The local OAS team on Thursday recommended that Bolivia convene a second-round vote, after a sudden shift –in Morales’ favor– triggered allegations of vote-rigging by the opposition.

“I don’t want to think the OAS mission is already taking part in a coup d’etat,” Morales said, reiterating his accusation that main rival Carlos Mesa was trying to steal his victory.