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Bolivia Presidential Race Runner-up Concedes Defeat

Luis Arce, presidential candidate for the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party, is surrounded by supporters after holding a press conference in La Paz, Bolivia, Oct. 19, 2020.

Bolivian presidential candidate Carlos Mesa of the Citizen Community party has conceded defeat to rival Luis Arce Catacora, candidate of the Movement Towards Socialism party, citing exit polls showing Arce with an insurmountable lead.

Speaking Monday, Mesa said he recognizes that there has been a winner in the election and that it is appropriate in a democracy to recognize the victory.

Mesa’s concession comes a day after the election, with the official count by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal expected in the next few days.

Exit polls revealed Arce obtained at least a 20-percentage point lead over Mesa, with third placed candidate Luis Fernando Camacho of the Creemos coalition garnering just over 14 percent of the votes.

Meantime, the French News Agency reports exiled former president Evo Morales is suggesting he will return to Bolivia after the election victory by Arce, a former member of Morales’ cabinet.