Friday, 13 December, 2019


Bolivian president wasn’t forced out by coup

People block a street near the main square in La Paz after Evo Morales resigned as president People block a street near the main square in La Paz after Evo Morales resigned as president More
Bennie Garza | 12 November, 2019, 08:58

Mexico has offered asylum to former Bolivian president Evo Morales, a day after his resignation following weeks of protest over a disputed election.

Ebrard said earlier on Monday his government viewed Sunday's events in Bolivia as a "coup" because the military broke with the constitutional order by pressing Morales to resign.

As tensions grew, local media reported that Morales supporters were marching on La Paz from the nearby city of El Alto, a Morales stronghold, to try to break the street blockades thrown up by his opponents and reach the capital's main square.

"If I have the support of those who carried out this movement for freedom and democracy, I will take on the challenge, only to do what's necessary to call transparent elections", said Anez, who is constitutionally next in line to assume the presidency.

"After almost 14 years and his recent attempt to override the Bolivian constitution and the will of the people, Morales' departure preserves democracy and paves the way for the Bolivian people to have their voices heard", Trump said in a statement.

In Venezuela, opponents of Morales ally Nicolas Maduro also hailed the fall of the Bolivian leader whom they call a dictator, saying they hoped Maduro would be next.

His government collapsed on Sunday after the Organisation of American States (OAS) delivered a damning report into serious irregularities during the October vote, prompting ruling party allies to quit and the army to urge him to step down.

"We will immediately proceed to inform Bolivia's foreign ministry that, under worldwide law, it should offer safe conduct" for Morales, foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard told reporters.

Ebrard on Sunday had decried the military's intervention to push Morales aside, saying it was reminiscent of Latin America's bloody coups of the 20th century. The only other official listed by the constitution as a successor, the head of the lower house, already had resigned.

"Sisters and brothers, I leave for Mexico", Morales said in a tweet on Monday night, adding he was "grateful" to Mexico for providing asylum and "[taking] care of our lives".

There were no immediate signs that the military itself was maneuvering for power, but "I think we have to keep a close eye on what the military does over the next few hours", said Jennifer Cyr, associate professor of political science and Latin American studies at the University of Arizona.

People walk past a restaurant whose window was broken during a protest after Bolivia's President Evo Morales announced on Sunday that he was resigning, in La Paz on Monday.

Meanwhile, Argentina's president-elect Alberto Fernandez said that, according to his information, President of Peru Martin Vizcarra agreed to open the country's airspace for the plane to take Morales to Mexico.

Under Bolivian law, the head of the Senate would normally take over provisionally. "That would be a recipe for continued conflict and chaos that could well put at risk some of the country's undeniable socio-economic gains over the past decade". "The fight goes on", he said.

Morales called new elections but commanders of the armed forces and police backed calls for his resignation.

And if that wasn't enough, his recent re-election for a fourth term was widely considered fraudulent, which sent outraged Bolivians into the streets of La Paz and beyond.

Morales, 60, had been in power since 2006.

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