Morales celebrates poll victory
Evo Morales heads to his third term in office in Bolivia after exit polls gave him almost 60 percent of the presidential vote.
Morales celebrated the victory with his supporters in the capital, La Paz. Miners, indigenous people from the Altiplano, coca farmers, teachers, oil workers and many youngsters gathered in Plaza Murillo, in front of the government palace, to cheer for "el Evo". Morales dedicated his victory to anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist governments of Latin America and remembered Hugo Chavez, the former president of Venezuela, and Fidel Castro of Cuba.
Tens of thousands of people wave blue, white and black chequered flags, the colours of MAS (Movimiento Al Socialismo), Morales' party. In 2005, Evo Morales became the first indigenous president in Bolivia. Many cholitas, indigenous women, admire him as a saviour.
It is not uncommon to practice traditional rites in political demonstrations in Bolivia. A woman burns coca leaves to ask the Pachamama goddess for her favour, to bring Morales luck and prosperity.
Before Morales came to power, many indigenous communities felt separated from Bolivia society. In the rural areas, such as the high Andean plateau, people walk for hours to cast their vote. Most of them support Evo Morales.
During the last elections, Morales promised to turn Bolivia into the energy centre of South America. He garnered almost a 60 per cent of the presidential vote.