Jeremy Corbyn is claiming that a coup has occurred in Bolivia and that his ally Evo Morales, has been wrongfully displaced. Put quite simply, this is total fantasy. Contrary to what Corbyn says, the whole episode provides further evidence of his contempt for democracy and the rule of law. For Corbyn, anything goes to get a hardline leftist into power and keep him there.

What actually happened is that Evo Morales was caught trying to rig the Presidential election. Very thorough proof of this rigging was produced by a technical team from the Organisation of American States (OAS). Morales tried to brazen it out for a time and use force against the huge number of protestors, who included the main trade union confederation, COB and many indigenous groups. Elements of the police, then the military, declined to use force against protestors. Morales, realising the game was up, fled the country and resigned as President.

It is worth quoting in detail some extracts from the official OAS report in case there is any doubt as to what occurred. Protests initially started when the election count was interrupted for 24 hours then restarted with a mysteriously increased vote count for Morales. It was discovered that an external computer had been furtively inserted into the process to take forward the counting:

“The OAS audit detected that the flow of transcription information following the interruption was re-directed to a server (BO20) that was not included among those contemplated for the TREP in the cloud nor to the physical equipment of the National Information Technology Directorate (DNTIC). Furthermore, it was not overseen by the audit company, by Civic Registry Service (SERECI) officials, or by technical personnel of the DNTIC, but, rather, by an external person. No mention of this server was made in the reports given to us by the Tribunal and everyone involved omitted to mention its existence until it was detected by the OAS auditors.

When he was interviewed (after the discovery), the technical head of the DNTIC acknowledged knowing about this server (BO20) and denied that it was he who had ordered the change of flow, adding that it had not been he who controlled or oversaw it either.  It is strange that the dataflow should be re-directed to an extraneous network that had neither been contemplated nor documented. There is also no valid technical explanation for the non-usage of the perimeter servers controlled by the audit company. This is extremely serious and impacts the transparency of the process.”

Other fraud of a more traditional type also took place. The OAS examined voting tally sheets from polling stations and discovered extensive malpractice.

“Expert analysis showed irregularities in 78 tally sheets (23% of the sample). In some cases, it was confirmed that all the tally sheets in a center had been completed by the same person. Sometimes, that person turned out to be the MAS [socialist party] representative accredited as the party’s delegate in the voting center concerned. Likewise, several tally sheets were found in which the government party obtained 100% of the votes. In some of those documents, the fields for opposition parties had not even been filled in with a “0”. In some of those voting tables, moreover, attendance was 100%, which is practically impossible”.

This blatant fraud must also be seen in the light of Morales’s other actions to subvert the democratic process and give himself an unlawful 4th term as President. The Bolivian constitution only allows for two consecutive terms so Morales organised a referendum to change the constitution. He lost that referendum but the Supreme Court, which he had stacked with his supporters, decided that to deny him the ability to run again would somehow infringe his human rights.  This went down very badly with Bolivians. It is no coincidence that thousands of them have been cheering Morales’s departure and chanting “this is not Cuba, nor Venezuela. This is Bolivia and Bolivia is respected.”