During vote count of the disputed 2019 Bolivian presidential election, the preliminary vote reporting was suspended for a period of about one day, leading to accusations that the government had fudged the vote count during that time.

A recent report in The Guardian newspaper adds a tantalizing detail:

The greatest controversy stemmed from a near 24-hour-long halt to the vote count, when electricity, internet and the phone supply to election headquarters were cut off.

Such a sequestration of the election headquarters, if confirmed, seems a particularly damning detail.

So, has this been confirmed by other reliable sources? And where did this claim originate?

1 Answer 1


Background: elections were held in Bolivia on October 20, 2019.

This incident was reported in local media, for example Exvocal Choque dice que recibió orden superior y suman más aprehensiones ("Exvocal Choque says she received higher order and added more apprehensions").

María Eugenia Choque of the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE) has admitted she was obliged to turn off the electricity and internet of the electoral system due to pressure from the above. She resigned shortly before Morales.

The Organization of American States (OAS) sent an Electoral Observation Mission to Bolivia.

On October 21st, the day after the elections, the OAS Mission said:

At 20:10, the TSE stopped disclosing preliminary results, by decision of the plenary, with more than 80% of the votes counted. 24 hours later, the TSE presented data with an inexplicable change in trend that drastically modifies the fate of the election and generates a loss of confidence in the electoral process.

That's the 24 hours when the electricity and internet were turned off, and things changed drastically.

On October 23rd, the mission released the document Preliminary Report of the Electoral Observation Mission in Bolivia.

On November 10th, its preliminary report alleged many irregularities.

  • Thanks-- have you seen any other sources which mention this incident? Not dismissing this one, but it still doesn't have much detail and seems to have an anti-Morales slant.
    – Colin
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 1:14
  • Sorry, I don't think I can help - any news source reporting such allegations would be by definition anti-Morales. :) For example, this related news story albertonews.com/internacionales/… says María dressed as a man trying to avoid arrest, but was caught anyway. Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 1:46
  • 1
    Actually, your link gave me some leads to go on. There was a report by the contractor compiling the preliminary results that gives the details of the internet interruption (la-razon.com/nacional/animal_electoral/…). I'm not sure if the cut to the electricity and phone is mentioned in the report directly but it was claimed in stories at the time of the report (Oct. 30) by a Senator Yerko Nunez (lostiempos.com/actualidad/pais/20191030/…).
    – Colin
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 1:59

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