The elections in Bolivia, held on Sunday (29 June), seem certain to produce an indecisive result.
GV Bolivian village with mountain backdrop.
GV Villagers walking down dusty hilly road to polling booths.
GV PAN SV Villagers lining up and voting at booths. (2 SHOTS)
GV Armed guards outside President's residence. (2 SHOTS)
SV President Lidia Gueiler talking and posing with villagers.
GV & SV Hernan Siles Zuazo arriving and entering polling both to cheering crowds. (3 SHOTS)
SV Siles casts his vote.
SV Victor Paz Estenssoro arrives surrounded by press and crowd applauding. (2 SHOTS)
SV Paz casts his vote.
GV PAN & SV More people queuing to vote. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: The elections in Bolivia, held on Sunday (29 June), seem certain to produce an indecisive result. Left wing candidate Hernan Siles Suazo has a clear lead but is unlikely to gain an absolute majority. In the absence of any candidate winning fifty percent of the vote, the new Parliament, also elected on Sunday, will have to choose the next President.
SYNOPSIS: Bolivia has had a troubled political history. There have been 188 military coups in its 154 years of independence. And this is the electorate's third attempt in as many years to choose a President.
The previous election produced a stalemate and after an abortive coup by an army officer, Mrs Lidia Gueiler was appointed interim President. Despite some right-wing opposition, she has steered the country to fresh elections.
With about half the votes counted the clear leaders was Hernan Siles Zuazo of the left-wing Popular Democratic Unity Party, Mr. Siles was the victor last year as well, but he is believed to be unacceptable to the military.
The campaign has been violent. A leading member of Siles's coalition was killed when a plane, which Siles himself was meant to be on, crashed. But election day itself passed relatively quietly.
A surprise loser so far has been the veteran politician, Victor Paz Estenssoro. The three-times President is trailing in third place.
Mr. Paz's centrist Nationalist Revolutionary Movement has only gained 17 percent of the vote but is expected to feature strongly in the rural areas where votes are still being counted.
The issue of the Presidency will now have to be decided by parliament when it meets in August.