After weeks of unrest, the leftist president of Bolivia announces his resignation. The military chief had asked him to.
After weeks of popular protests, Bolivia's President Evo Morales announced his withdrawal on Sunday. He sent a letter of resignation to parliament, Morales, who has been in power for 13 years, said in a television address: "Our great desire is for social peace to return." His vice-president Alvaro Garcia Linera resigned.
Previously, the military chief demanded the withdrawal of the left-wing head of state. "After analyzing the state of the internal conflict, we ask the President to step down, allow peace to be restored and stability for the benefit of our Bolivia," said General Williams Kaliman. Police chief Vladimir Calderon Mariscal also stepped in front of the cameras.
Morales himself had stated that he would call new elections and change the electoral commission. He had left open the question of whether he would compete again.
The president was recently under pressure. The Organization of American States (OAS) had recommended new elections in Bolivia, as it had stated in the poll on October 20, according to their own statements serious irregularities. There have been serious manipulations of computer systems. Therefore, the election must be canceled and come to new elections, the OAS had said.
At the October election, Morales and opposition leader Carlos Mesa went head-to-head first. The count was then interrupted for a day. After their resumption led the left Morales, who ruled the country since 2006, with ten percentage points ahead. This triggered massive protests in the country.