(CNN)Bolivia will hold new general elections after an international audit found last month’s election results could not be validated due to “serious irregularities,” President Evo Morales said Sunday.
Morales did not cite the report published by the Organization of American States (OAS), but announced the current members of Bolivia’s electoral council would be replaced. Morales, the country’s longtime socialist leader, did not name a date for the new elections. Tensions boil over in Bolivia as protesters claim presidential election was riggedThe OAS recommended that new elections be held under the umbrella of “new electoral authorities in order to offer a reliable process.” In its report, the OAS said the alleged irregularities — including failures in the chain of custody for ballots, alteration and forgery of electoral material, redirection of data to unauthorized servers and data manipulation — impacted the official vote count. “The manipulations to the computer system (used in the elections) are of such magnitude that they must be deeply investigated by the Bolivian State to get to the bottom (of this issue),” the OAS said, in part. People protest election results in Sucre, Bolivia, on October 22, 2019.Read MoreProtests broke out in the days following the October 20 election, with demonstrators and the Bolivian opposition accusing electoral authorities of manipulating the vote count in favor of Morales, who is seeking his fourth term. Morales denied the allegations, but declared himself the winner. Three people have died in the protests, and hundreds have been injured. Various police units across the country on Saturday joined calls for Morales to resign, and the head of the Bolivian Armed Forces said his units would not confront protesters. Morales, one of the longest-serving heads of state in Latin America, is Bolivia’s first indigenous president. He won his first election with a campaign that promised a government focused on the needs of the country’s poor. But he’s also been accused of using the system to concentrate power.