BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technological know-how have cast question on a claim that Bolivian officers engaged in fraud to aid Evo Morales, the longtime president, gain re-election.
The scientists, whilst not definitively ruling out the likelihood of any fraud, waded into a fierce domestic and global discussion more than Mr. Morales’s legitimacy. The country’s very first Indigenous president, he was a historic but contentious determine, pressured out in November soon after violent protests and accusations that his allies had rigged the election.
“The statistical evidence does not assistance the claim of fraud,” the scientists, John Curiel and Jack R. Williams, wrote in The Washington Put up. Their get the job done was commissioned by a group known as the Middle for Financial and Coverage Exploration, which has been supportive of remaining-leaning governments in South The united states.
Mr. Curiel and Mr. Williams, from M.I.T.’s Election Details and Science Lab, said they have been contracted to conduct an impartial examination.
Their assessment achieved with scathing criticism from the Organization of American States, which done an first audit in late 2019 that discovered Bolivian officers had engaged in lies, manipulation and forgery to make sure Mr. Morales’s victory.
The O.A.S. mentioned it stood by its conclusions.
“It defies all logic that people today that keep by themselves out as ‘scientists’ and ‘specialists in election integrity’ would interact in this kind of flawed assessment,” wrote Gonzalo Koncke, an O.A.S. formal, in a letter to The Post.
The researchers’ get the job done did not address numerous of the allegations described in the O.A.S. report, like the accusation that Bolivian officers taken care of hidden servers that could have permitted the alteration of success.
In its place, the scientists examined one allegation made by O.A.S. auditors: that variances in effects described before and right after a pause in the first vote rely pointed to evidence of fraud in favor of Mr. Morales.
O.A.S. officials named a sudden transform in the voting craze in Mr. Morales’s favor “statistically unlikely.”
But the scientists concluded that these a modify was entirely plausible. “There does not appear to be to be a statistically substantial variation in the margin prior to and right after the halt of the preliminary vote,” they wrote.
They pointed out that voting tendencies usually shift as votes are counted. In the United States, for example, votes that occur in after Election Working day have a tendency to favor Democratic candidates.
The fraud promises have been central to a discussion about whether Mr. Morales need to be in a position to return to political lifetime in Bolivia — and no matter whether his social gathering, Movement Towards Socialism, really should get an additional shot at countrywide management.
In early May perhaps, Bolivians will vote again for a new president. Mr. Morales can’t run he is in exile in Argentina and faces prison costs at dwelling. But his prospect, Luis Arce, is main in the polls.
In an e-mail, Mr. Curiel named for more investigation of the fraud promises, noting that the O.A.S. arrived to its conclusions “on a quick turnaround,” just times after the election.