Bolivian court will issue only official election count, not preliminary results

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LA PAZ (Sputnik) – The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) of Bolivia confirmed that it will not publish preliminary results of the general elections and that it will only progressively disclose the official counts that it plans to conclude in two or three days.

“With regard to the dissemination of preliminary results, the Court made the decision to withdraw this system because (…) we were not sure that we had all the volume of information that seemed appropriate,” said the president of the TSE, at a press conference .

This left the projections announced by television networks, based on exit polls and quick counts, as the only sources of global results that would be available at the end of the day.

Romero made the statement while the first hour of the open voting in the national territory was passing at 8:00 local (12:00 GMT) and that it will last for nine hours.

The electoral chief thus referred to the uncertainty caused by the decision of the TSE, taken on the night of October 17, to dispense with the non-binding system of Dissemination of Preliminary Results (Direpre), widely promoted by that body as the first guarantee of transparency but criticized by observers.

Observers from the European Union and the United Nations had expressed fear that the Direpre will install on the night of October 18 a result image that later does not match the official calculations, which could generate conflicts similar to those that in 2019 became a serious political crisis.

Romero admitted the risk that the Direpre, whose assembly and administration was in charge of the English firm Reckon, “would not have the same information as the definitive official computer system.”

The cancellation of Direpre “was a technical decision that the (international observation) missions considered to be an appropriate decision,” said the TSE president.

The missions of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (Uniore) and the Carter Center said in a joint statement that the cancellation of the Direpre was “timely adopted as a measure that, in a transparent way, privileges certainty and seeks to avoid jeopardizing the correct dissemination of the results “.

The representation of the European Union, the national office of the United Nations and the Catholic Episcopal Conference also supported the suspension of the preliminary results, assuring in a joint statement that “the TSE guarantees the dissemination of results with certainty through the official computer system.” .

Romero explained that the photographs of the tally sheets, which were published on the internet in the canceled elections of 2019 as part of the preliminary results, will now be made available to the public in the information package of the official count.

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