Tehran congratulates Luis Arce on Bolivian presidential election victory

October 20, 2020 - 14:55

TEHRAN – Iran has congratulated the new president of Bolivia on election victory, expressing the Islamic Republic’s full support for the elected government of Luis Arce.

In a statement on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh felicitated Bolivia on successfully holding its presidential election and praised a calm atmosphere that prevailed the election process with a remarkable voter turnout.

Khatibzadeh expressed satisfaction over the restoration of democracy and power to the real representatives of the Bolivian people after a year of tension.

He also voiced Iran’s readiness to revive cooperation and strengthen relations with Bolivia.

An unofficial count indicated on Monday that Luis Arce, who hails from the Movement for Socialism Party, bagged more than 50% of the vote making him the new president after 11 months of political turmoil.

Arce’s victory ruled out earlier opinion polls that had predicted the election would go to a run-off. The new president is expected to take office next month.

He was running against former centrist president Carlos Mesa, who gained second place with some 31.5% of the vote.

In a tweet, Arce expressed appreciation for the public support, saying his country had recovered democracy.

Arce is the heir to former leader Evo Morales. Morales said Arce’s win brings back stability, peace, progress, and freedom to Bolivians.

According to the Guardian, Arce vowed to end the uncertainty that has plagued his bitterly divided nation since October 2019, when hotly disputed claims of vote rigging against his party resulted in mass street protests, the presidential election being scrapped and Morales being forced from the country by security forces in what his supporters call a racist, rightwing coup.

Morales, despite living in exile in Argentina, hailed “a resounding victory” for his party. “Sisters and brothers: the will of the people has prevailed,” tweeted Bolivia’s first indigenous president, a key member of Latin America’s leftwing pink tide who governed from 2006 until his dramatic downfall last year.

Leading members of the Latin American left, who hope Arce’s triumph may help revive their fortunes, celebrated the result. “Viva the Bolivian people! Viva democracy!” tweeted Gleisi Hoffmann, the president of the Brazilian Workers’ party (PT).

Observers say the successful Bolivian election was a defeat for the hegemonic aspirations of the United States.


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