Bolivia's electoral commission divested of rapid preliminary counting system

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BUENOS AIRES, October 18. / TASS /. Bolivia's High Electoral Court (WIS), which serves as the electoral commission, decided to abandon the new rapid pre-counting system a few hours before the start of presidential and parliamentary elections. This was announced on Saturday evening by the chairman of the instance Salvador Romero.

"We are more important about reliability than speed," the newspaper Pagina Siete quotes him. The decision to abandon the new system, which was unveiled earlier this week, came after testing, Romero noted.

The WIS Chairman did not rule out that the results of the vote count will now become known later than planned. "We will make every effort to calculate a significant part on Sunday (October 18 – TASS) evening," he added.

On Thursday, the WIS presented a new pre-counting system and said it would prevent a repeat of the situation in last year's elections. When the presidential elections were held in Bolivia on October 20, 2019, the first preliminary results were released almost four hours after the polling stations closed. After their announcement, the former head of state and presidential candidate Carlos Mesa said that the results of the last vote should allow him to enter the second round.

When the publication of the voting results continued the next day, the gap between the then current President Evo Morales and Mesa increased sharply, and the WIS declared the head of state the winner after the first round. Mesa refused to accept these results.

After three weeks of demonstrations, Morales resigned. Janine Agnes, the second vice-speaker of the upper house of parliament, became the acting head of state until the new elections. The Supreme Electoral Court annulled the results of the presidential and parliamentary elections and convened new ones, which were originally scheduled for May 3 this year, but were then postponed due to the pandemic to October 18.

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