Reports say Bolivian president reelected

Monday, December 7, 2009

File photograph of Evo Morales

Exit polls in Bolivia indicate that President Evo Morales has earned a second term after winning re-election on Sunday.

Bolivian media report that the president gained at least 61%, 35 points ahead of his closest challenger, former governor Manfred Reyes.

"This process of change has prevailed," Morales said on the balcony of his presidential residence, addressing supporters.

Morales was first elected in 2005 and is the South American country's first indigenous president. Analysts say the victory means he will likely continue reforms aimed at greater government control over the economy and social spending programs for the poor.

Bolivia's voters also chose a new Congress, with polls showing the president's Movement Toward Socialism party well ahead, securing about two-thirds of the seats.