Saturday 22 November 2014

Ponchos boost president's wealth

Published 09/11/2012 | 20:23

Boliviam president Evo Morales wearing the type of poncho he claims has boosted his personal wealth (AP)

Bolivian president Evo Morales says his personal wealth has jumped by about £63,000 since taking office - thanks to all the gift ponchos he has received.

The leftist leader said he has been given some 500 hand-made ponchos, which he estimates cost about £125 a piece.

Controversy has simmered around reports of Mr Morales's personal wealth ballooning while in office. Official filings show his declared assets increasing from £150,000 when he took office in 2006 to £245,000 in October.

Known as the country's first indigenous president, Mr Morales earns an annual salary of £17,600. He remains one of the region's lowest paid presidents.

Mr Morales said he is not to blame for receiving gifts from the public.

Press Association

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