Exit polls: No vote wins with 51 pct. in referendum on Morales reelection

Exit polls: “No” vote wins with 51 pct. in referendum on Morales’ reelection

Bolivians voted Sunday in a referendum on whether to modify the Constitution to allow President Evo Morales to run for a third consecutive term, but – according to initial exit polls – the “No” option won with at least 51 percent of the ballots.

The exit survey, released four hours after the close of the polls, performed by Equipos Mori revealed that “No” votes outweighed “Yes” votes by 51 percent to 49 percent while the survey by Ipsos found the “No”-“Yes” breakdown to be 52.3 to 47.7 percent.

More than 6.5 million Bolivians were called to vote in the referendum on whether to reform the Constitution to allow presidents to serve three consecutive terms, in contrast to the current limit of two consecutive terms.

Broadening the number of consecutive terms in office would allow Morales to – once again – run for reelection.

Both surveys found that the “Yes” option won only in the provinces of La Paz, Cochabamba and Oruro, while the “No” option won in Santa Cruz, Potosi, Chuquisaca, Tarija, Beni and Pando.

The “No” option won by more than 60 percent in Tarija, Beni, Potosi and Santa Cruz, according to the surveys.

Recent voter surveys – conducted prior to the referendum – had shown that the “Yes” and “No” options were running neck and neck, but they were released before a controversial complaint became public implicating Morales in an alleged case of influence peddling involving a former girlfriend, a charge the president has denied.

Source: EFE

Photo: An Aymara woman casts her ballot at a polling station. VOA News

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