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Bolivian Authorities: State Department and Observer Mission

bolivian authorities: Bands of Morales' supporters and opponents fought in a number of places across the country, including the capital of La Paz, according to CTV. Morales' opponents accused officials of trying to help the president avoid a runoff battle in which he could lose to a unified opposition. Protesters set fire to regional offices of the electoral body in the southern cities of Sucre of Potosi late Monday, and a crowd burned ballots from Sunday's election in Tarija. A U.S. State Department accused Bolivian authorities of trying to subvert the vote, and an observer mission from the Organization of American States expressed concerns about the counting process. The last numbers released before Monday night showed Morales topping the eight other candidates, but also falling a few percentage points short of the percentage needed to avoid the first runoff in his nearly 14 years in power. Tensions already were high Monday after officials abruptly stopped releasing results hours after the polls closed Sunday. ( As reported in the news.