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Cablegate: Bolivia: Recall Referenda Sitrep #3 1830 Edt

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SUBJECT: BOLIVIA: RECALL REFERENDA SITREP #3 1830 EDT

August 10, 2008

SITUATION REPORT. This is third and last situation report
today.

1. (U) Voting closed at 1800, and while official counts are
not expected for many days, unofficial polls indicate that
President Morales will continue in his post, with vote
projections at about 60 percent approval nationwide.
According to some exit polls, Morales lost the vote in four
departments (that is, a majority of voters in those
departments voted against him) and was too close to call in
another, highlighting the regional nature of his popularity.
All numbers are unofficial and likely to change.

2. (U) It is still unclear how the referenda will be applied
to the prefects: the National Electoral Court maintains that
prefects will be recalled if 50 percent plus one of voters
vote against them, while the President stated today that this
compromise formula may not be followed. Thus far, it seems
that the four Media Luna opposition prefects survived (Santa
Cruz, Pando, Beni, Tarija), while opposition prefects Manfred
Reyes Villa (Cochabamba) and Jose Luis Paredes (La Paz)
appear to have been recalled. MAS prefect Albert Luis
Aguilar (Oruro) also appears to have been recalled.

3. (U) Television station Unitel reports that in the
altiplano town of Achacachi (a Red Poncho and MAS
stronghold), MAS officials showed people how to vote yes for
Morales (leading elderly or illiterate voters) and allegedly
some ballots were pre-marked. An official in the
prefecturate of Cochabamba has also alleged that ballots in
some Cochabamba districts were pre-marked in favor of Morales
and against opposition prefect Reyes Villa.

4. (U) Post will report more detailed results tomorrow.

GOLDBERG

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