The final results of the Bolivian Recall Referendum of last Sunday are now in (in fact they are officially 99.99% complete with just three 'mesas' from nearly 22,000 left to report, but I'm going with this as a definitive count). This post sums up the main results, looks at the main breakdown of the votes for both President Evo Morales and the eight department heads (known as prefects) and also takes a closer look at votes of the key dissenting state of Santa Cruz for reasons that will become apparent.
Before we continue, a glossary note and a note on bona fides. Please understand that
So on with the show, and the first two charts shows the headline results. Nationwide, Evo Morales won 67.41% of the votes.
Meanwhile, the votes for the eight prefects under this recall election broke down as follows (note Chuquisaca's prefect has recently been elected and did not need to be recalled):
This next table gives a little more breakdown on how the national votes were cast. We see that 2.1m people voted for Evo, and just over 1m voted against him (OT: I had a problem formatting this table and it leaves a big gap in the post. I don't know why, but no biggie anyway).
No. Of Eligible Voters
Total Valid Votes Cast
Votes 'In White' (neutral)
Total Votes Counted
Total % Turnout
Votes Pro Evo
Votes Anti Evo
So far so good, and Evo won the national vote by a handsome two-to-one margin. However, as most people know by now the dissent to the Evo presidency supposedly comes from the Eastern lowland departments known collectively as the "medialuna", as well as in the department of Chuquisaca (home to the historic capital city of Sucre). So this next chart shows how each department voted for Evo.
In this chart, we can see that six out of nine departments voted Pro-Evo as President. We note;
- Evo easily won the four western/highland departments of
Potosi, , La Paz Oruroand (as expected by everyone). Cochabamba
- Much less expected were the winning percentages he obtained in supposedly rebellious Chuquisaca and medialuna department Pando. These results give lie to the classic East/West split often mention in the press.
- Next, Tarija was also very close, but went against Evo by 49.83% to 50.17%. Close, but a loss is a loss and has to be recognized.
- Finally, the only two departments to clearly vote against Evo as President were Beni (43.72%) and
(40.75%). Santa Cruz
However, demographics in
This clearly shows the 'Santa Cruz versus
It therefore makes sense to recognize the real seat of powerful opposition to Evo Morales as
So when it comes to the ongoing disputes about Evo Morales as president, the autonomy claims of the medialunas and all things related, the key to it all is
Next, let's look at the total
Interestingly, in every single province the Ruben Costas "YES" vote was stronger than the Evo Morales "NO" vote. This suggests that there is a small but significant percentage of
The second chart is the other side of the same coin, showing the percentage of people in each province who voted "YES to Evo Morales and "NO" to their Prefect, Ruben Costas.
We note this time that if we ignore the
This final chart of this trio shows the percentages of people per
The strange result here is that four of the fifteen provinces actually approved both their national and their department leaders.
Going back to the first chart and comment, it's clear that there is an overlap of votes and many people somewhat surprisingly approve of Evo Morales and Ruben Costas, even though they are opposites locked in ideological battle for the future of
For example, in the
However, we now turn our attention to the absolute number of voters in
- According to 2007 figures, the
has a population of 1,650,000, which is approximately 65% of the whole department. provinceof Andrés Ibañez
- Of the 671,195 votes cast in the department in last Sunday's recall referendum, 465,425 came from the
. provinceof Andrés Ibañez
- Of the 397,670 Evo "NO" votes in the department of
Santa Cruz, 301,275 votes came from the provinceof Andrés Ibañez
- Incredibly, if we discard the Andrés Ibañez votes and look at the other 14 provinces of Santa Cruz as separate from the city, Evo "YES" votes total 109,375 and Evo "NO" votes total
96,395. Inother words, away from the city Evo Morales actually won by a handy 53.1% to 46.9%! Santa Cruz
- And if you're wondering what Andrés Ibañez looks like compared to the department of
on a map, here it is: Santa Cruz
Now let's take the national vote in context to this one single province that lies inside one of nine departments that make up the entirety of
- Only three of nine provinces voted against Evo Morales as their President, namely Tarija (50.17% No), Beni (56.28% No) and
(59.25% No) Santa Cruz
- The total number of Evo "NO" votes in those three states adds up to 520,314.
- These "NO" votes, which are in fact the total effective votes against the Evo Morales presidency, represent 15.44% of the total number of votes cast on Sunday 10th August (3,370,783). This is a far cry from the image of a country "divided in two" and more akin to a minor regional dispute.
, holding the city of Santa Cruz de provinceof Andrés Ibañez la Sierra, had 301,275 Evo "NO" votes as counted.
- Therefore we can say that the votes of one single province (basically one single city) represented 57.9% of the total effective autonomy rebel vote.
The press is quick to describe
Last Sunday's vote was called "exemplary" by the overseeing international neutral observers, and very few if any serious incidents were reported. It was undoubtedly an overwhelming victory for President Morales. However it also showed that the much talked about autonomy movement is not a nationwide curse, but in fact centred very much on one single city. Ruben Costas is now being shown as the Emperor With No Clothes (though perhaps we can leave him his underpants).
Once these figures are looked at closely, it becomes difficult to understand the ostensible claim of
This is, of course, ridiculous. We should therefore see the call for autonomy for what it is; a single city's complaint against its national government, something that is common worldwide and not any reason to continue ignoring national laws. The time has come to recognize
Republished from inka cola news