LA PAZ, Bolivia - President Evo Morales easily won re-election yesterday, according to unofficial results, receiving an overwhelming mandate for further revolutionary change on behalf of Bolivia's long-suppressed indigenous majority.
Opponents say they fear that the one-time leader of the coca-growers union will use his consolidated power not just to continue battling racially based inequalities but also to trample human rights and deepen state influence over the economy.
An unofficial count of 91 percent of the vote by the Equipos-Mori polling firm said that Bolivia's first indigenous president won five more years in office with 63 percent of the ballots - 36 points ahead of his closest challenger in a field of nine.
Jubilant supporters waving Bolivian flags jumped up and down in La Paz's central Murillo square an hour after polls closed chanting "Evo! Evo!" Manfred Reyes, a center-right former state governor and military officer, conceded soon after. He won 27 percent of the vote, according to Equipos-Mori.
The results signaled an opposition in disarray.
"Evo Morales has a mandate unlike any other president in the hemisphere, including Barack Obama," said analyst Jim Shultz of the nonprofit Democracy Center in Cochabamba.
"This is the fifth national election in four years and his margin of victory has only increased each and every time."