Bolivian President Evo Morales have lost his bid to run for the fourth term after the majority of voters opted against changing the constitution. The referendum held on Sunday showed that Morales was losing by 52 to 48 percent, according to Bolivian election officials.
Morales, who is the first Bolivian head of state having an indigenous origin, said that he will respect the outcome. The change in the constitution, which was sought by Morales and rejected by the voters, would have allowed him to run for a fourth term and extend his reign till 2025.
According to observers, though the counting was slow, there was no evidence of a fraud.
“With my record, I can leave happily and go home content. I would love to be a sports trainer,” Morales was earlier quoted as saying by the BBC in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
The New York Times reported that the president flew to the western Bolivian town of Sica Sica by helicopter on Tuesday for dedicating a new sports arena. But he did not mention anything on the referendum in his remarks and refused to speak to reporters on the issue.
However, he blamed the right-wingers for waging a dirty war against him. According to the observers, there is no immediate successor to him at present and the opposition doesn’t have a single leader.
Over the past 10 years, the Bolivian economy has been performing well, despite the fall in the oil and gas prices. Its economy recorded a 5 percent growth on average every year. The socialist policies of the government have also been instrumental in reducing extreme poverty.
But, allegations that Morales favoured a Chinese construction firm in Bolivia by using his influence eroded off the support from behind him.
Also, a former girlfriend of Morales reportedly held an important position in a company that received contracts worth more than US$500 million (AU$ 694 million) from the Bolivian government. Morales have, however, dismissed the allegations and ordered a probe into the matter.