Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his resignation


Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his resignation on Sunday after three weeks of strong protests against his reelection to a fourth term. "I am giving up my position as president," the 60-year-old indigenous leader, who has been in power since 2006, told television. A few hours earlier, the commander-in-chief of the Bolivian army, General Williams Kaliman, demanded his departure. for the good of Bolivia ".

"After analyzing the internal conflict situation, we ask the president to give up his presidential term in order to allow the pacification and the maintenance of the stability, for the good of our Bolivia", declared the general to the press.

What to say to the vice president Alvaro Garcia Linera, who also resigned, that "the coup d'etat took place". And this at the end of a day marked by new clashes between protesters and law enforcement as well as serial resignation of ministers and deputies.

"Pacify the people of Bolivia"

"We join the call of the Bolivian people to suggest to President Evo Morales to resign to pacify the people of Bolivia," the general police commander, General Vladimir Yuri Calderon, said.

Accompanied by the crowd, Luis Fernando Camacho, the most visible and radical leader of the opposition, went to the headquarters of the government in La Paz to symbolically give a letter of resignation to sign by Evo Morales, and a copy of the Bible.

The political crisis had accelerated suddenly this Sunday in the Andean country, where general strike and demonstrations paralyze the activity for ten days, in a climate of violence and clashes between the two camps. In three weeks, the wave of protest left three dead and 383 wounded.

Cascading departures

The announcement in the morning by the president of a new poll – an option he rejected until then – was to "pacify Bolivia" but failed to bring calm. The army has ordered "air and ground military operations to neutralize armed groups acting outside the law," said General Kaliman, in reference to violent attacks on buses of opposition protesters who surrendered in La Paz.

Speaking of protesters who burned down his house in Potosi (southwest), the president of the National Assembly, Victor Borda, resigned, imitated according to the Bolivian television by a dozen deputies. Soon after, the Minister of Mines, Cesar Navarro, also gave up his job, saying he wanted to "preserve (his) family" after the fire of his house and the assault of his nephew.

"The course of events goes against my personal principles, as well as my spiritual and democratic values", also wrote the Minister of Hydrocarbons, Luis Alberto Sanchez, in his resignation letter published on Twitter.

OAS requested cancellation of the ballot

During the day, several opposition leaders had urged the head of state to resign. "If he has an ounce of patriotism he should withdraw," pleaded the centrist Carlos Mesa, unhappy candidate in the first round of the presidential election of October 20. "Evo Morales has broken the constitutional order and has to resign," added Luis Fernando Camacho.

The president had promised to "renew all the members of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE)", then "convene (s) new elections", without specifying the date of this new election, or if he would represent it. The Organization of American States (OAS) had asked this Sunday morning the cancellation of the poll, tainted with irregularities according to it.

It also called for the convening of a new vote with the necessary guarantee "the composition of a new electoral body", alluding to the TSE, including seven members were targeted this Sunday by prosecutions of the prosecution for alleged participation in irregularities.

Score considered fraudulent

US Deputy Secretary of State for Latin America Michael Kozak asked the OAS in a tweet to send a mission to Bolivia to make sure the new elections are "free and fair, and the reflection the will of the Bolivian people ".

The 20 October poll had resulted in the re-election of Evo Morales for a fourth term until 2025, an option rejected by the people in a referendum in February 2016. Its score announced by the TSE, exceeding more than 10 points that of Carlos Mesa, was immediately described as fraudulent by the opposition.

Cuba condemns a "coup"

The Cuban government has "strongly condemned" what it considers to be a "coup". A traditional ally of the Bolivian socialist leader, Cuba expresses its "solidarity with Brother President Evo Morales, protagonist and symbol of the claim of the indigenous peoples of our Americas," tweeted Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, calling for "global mobilization for the life and freedom of Evo ".

In France, some leaders of the radical left also denounced the coup de force of the Bolivian army. National unchallenged French national, Martine Billard mocked the reaction of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who welcomed the departure of Evo Morales. "Everything has been organized precisely," tweeted the former MP from Paris, pointing at the "hand of the CIA" in this case.

Same story in Venezuela, where President Nicolas Maduro condemned "categorically the coup d'etat against the brother president Evo Morales". He called, via Twitter too, to "mobilize to demand that the lives of Bolivian indigenous peoples, victims of racism" be preserved.

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