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Bolivian voters ignore calls for election boycott

Once again the voters turned out for Evo

Most Bolivian voters turned out Sunday for judicial elections that are a major test for the administration of president Evo Morales, in spite of concerns about a potential boycott.

Abstentions and null votes had been urged by his conservative opposition, which accuses Morales of attempting to take control of the judiciary via his campaign to reform that branch of the Bolivian government.

“Turnout was running over 50% by 11 in the morning”, according to international electoral observer chief Fausto Camacho.

The numbers seemed to be a relief for Morales, who has been pushing for large numbers to validate his pre-selection of judicial candidates by the Plurinational Assembly.   The popular vote is selecting all 28 national judges who comprise the four top tribunals in Bolivia.

Voting is obligatory in that nation, which has never seen a turnout below 60%.   In recent weeks concerns had grown that the election would be used as a platform to register disapproval for Morales, who has taken significant steps to nationalize Bolivia’s extensive hydrocarbon resources.