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Bolivian voters reject fourth term for Morales


Bolivians have narrowly rejected changing the constitution so President Evo Morales can run for a fourth term.

About 51.5% voted against the move with almost all the votes counted, the electoral authority said.

Mr Morales, Bolivia's first head of state of indigenous origin, has said he will respect the referendum result.

The constitutional change would have allowed Mr Morales to run for re-election in 2019 and potentially remain in power until 2025.

Observers said the count has been slow but that there was no evidence of fraud.

Pollsters had suggested a victory for the "No" camp based on unofficial quick counts, prompting celebrations by "No" campaigners in various Bolivian cities.

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Mr Morales is still a popular leader and the economy has grown steadily over the past decade.

But many, especially in the main cities, think Mr Morales should not be allowed to serve 19 consecutive years as president, analysts say.

Opposition leader Samuel Doria Medina urged Mr Morales to "recognise the results" and focus on solving Bolivia's problems in his remaining time in office instead of trying to run for another term.

An indigenous Aymara and former coca leaf producer, he took office in January 2006, and his current term ends in 2020.