Bolivian police fight protesters near presidential palace

A riot police prepare to launch tear gas to disperse demonstrators who are against the reelection of President Evo Morales, in La Paz, Bolivia, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. Opponents challenged an official count that showed Morales winning with 47% of the vote and a margin of just over 10 percentage points over his nearest competitor, enough to avoid the need for a runoff against a united opposition. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Police in Bolivia have fought protesters trying to march on the presidential palace following the country’s disputed election.

Police fired tear gas to push back stone-throwing demonstrators during clashes late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

Also Tuesday, backers of Bolivian President Evo Morales blocked the arrival of opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho to the capital of La Paz. The government flew him back to his home city.

Camacho has been leading protests in Santa Cruz, the country’s most populous city, demanding Morales step aside following the Oct. 20 election.

Opponents challenge an official count that showed Morales winning by a margin big enough to avoid the need for a runoff against a united opposition.

Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, accuses the opposition of trying to stage a coup.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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