Bolivia's Morales calls for his election win to be respected

LA PAZ, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Bolivian President Evo Morales hailed his election win on Thursday after an official count overnight extended his lead to a decisive 10-point gap over his main rival Carlos Mesa, enough for an outright first-round win.

The leftist leader called on observers to respect the South American country’s constitution after a fraught presidential race sparked criticism from the election monitor and foreign governments concerned about vote rigging.

Delays during the count following Sunday’s election and an abrupt shift in favor of Morales have resulted in protests and marches in the main cities of one of South America’s poorest countries. (Reporting by Mitra Taj; writing by Adam Jourdan; editing by David Clarke)