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Bolivian Leftist Heads to Runoff

July 10, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

BUENOS AIRES — A socialist and ex-coca farmer has finished a surprising second in Bolivia's presidential vote and will compete in a two-man runoff in Congress in August, according to final election results released Tuesday.

Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian and foe of U.S. foreign policy, will face off against Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, the center-right candidate of the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement, who finished first with 22.5% of the vote in an 11-candidate field. Morales got 20.94%

Morales wants an end to U.S.-backed programs to eradicate the cultivation of coca leaves, used to make both cocaine and Andean remedies. U.S. Ambassador Manuel Rocha has suggested that a Morales presidency would lead to the end of U.S. aid to Bolivia.

Morales edged out Manfred Reyes Villa for second place by 721 votes out of 2.8 million cast.

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