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Polling data show Luis Arce will become next president of Bolivia

Polling data show Luis Arce will become next president of Bolivia
Luis Arce (C) and vice presidential candidate David Choquehuanca (3-R) celebrate on Monday after seeing unofficial results that indicate they received more than 50% of the vote, in La Paz, Bolivia. Photo by EPA-EFE

Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Luis Arce, a supporter of exiled Bolivian President Evo Morales, appears to have won the presidency with a solid majority in the politically-divided Central American country, exit polling indicates.

Polling indicators say Arce, who was Morales' finance minister in the Movimiento al Socialismo Party, captured more than 50% of the vote on Sunday.

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The figures show that Arce's opponent, former centrist president Carlos Mesa, earned 30%. Bolivian officials did not immediately announce the formal results.

"We have reclaimed democracy and above all we have reclaimed hope," Arce said. "We will govern for all Bolivians. We will bring unity to our country."

Interim President Jeanine Anez Chavez acknowledged Arce's victory but noted the results weren't official.

"From the data we have, Mr. Arce and [his vice-presidential candidate] Mr. [David] Choquehuanca have won the election," said Chavez.

"I congratulate the winners and ask them to govern with Bolivia and democracy in mind."

Morales, who's living in Argentina in exile, celebrated the victory.

"The will of the people has prevailed," he tweeted.

Morales was driven from Bolivia after mass protests a year ago that followed charges of election rigging in the previous campaign.

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