By James Blears
It took almost a week to tot up all the votes, but finally Bolivia's Supreme Electoral Tribunal, presented the sum total of its labours. Former Finance Minister Luis Arce has won fifty five percent of the vote. While his nearest rival Carlos Mesa, himself a former President, trailed in as the runner up, just shy of twenty nine percent.
The comfortable victory means a second round runoff isn't necessary.
However, it's not enough to gain two thirds of the vote, so the Party is curbed from being able to alter the National Constitution, without a consensus of consent. There is no role whatsoever for ex President Evo Morales, who was barred from contesting this election.
He previously overplayed his political hand, ignoring term limits and fled following nationwide protests last year, after winning a controversial first round and brief re-election. First he went to Mexico, and then on to Argentina for what looks like a long exile.
President Elect Arce says that as a Bolivian citizen, he's free to return any time. Rather unlikely, as Authorities want to formally charge him with a number of alleged crimes. Arce, who as Finance Minister steered many Bolivians away from dire poverty, now has an opportunity to continue that process.