Bolivian President Morales announces his resignation
Bolivian President Evo Morales resigned shortly after the military urged him to do so. Two officials next in line to take over the government also stepped down following weeks of protests.
"I resign from my position as president so that (Carlos) Mesa and (Luis Fernando) Camacho do not continue to persecute socialist leaders," Morales said during a televised address, mentioning the leaders of the opposition.
Morales said he decided to step down in hopes that his departure would stop the spate of violent attacks against officials and indigenous people, “so that they [protesters] do not continue burning the houses [of public officials]" and "kidnapping and mistreating" families of indigenous leaders.
"It is my obligation, as the first indigenous president and president of all Bolivians, to seek this pacification,” he said, adding that he hopes the opposition will “understand the message.”
Shortly after the announcement, his vice president, Alvaro Marcelo García Linera, also submitted his resignation. The next person in line to take over the government, the president of the Senate, Adriana Salvatierra, resigned soon afterwards.
Let's be clear: Evo Morales resigned as president of Bolivia to avoid further bloodshed, violence and destruction by a right-wing coup backed by powerful interests. Evo stepped down and put his country and people's well-being and safety before his own desire to remain in power.— Eva Golinger (@evagolinger) November 10, 2019
Earlier on Sunday, Morales announced a snap election, giving in to the mounting pressure over the disputed results of the October 20 vote. The decision followed the release of a preliminary report from the Organization of American States (OAS) mission on the election, which was unable to validate it, saying it is “statistically unlikely” that Morales could have secured the 10-percent margin required to avoid a runoff. They also claim they found signs of “clear manipulation” and irregularities during the election.Also on rt.com Bolivia's military chief calls on President Morales to resign after new elections announced
The opposition urged Morales to resign despite his promise to hold a new election. While he briefly resisted the calls, branding them “unconstitutional” and an “attempted coup,” he eventually gave in after the military joined in the chorus.
Shortly before Morales announced his resignation, Bolivian TV channels aired footage of what they say was a presidential plane departing from El Alto International Airport. It was reported that the plane took Morales to his political stronghold of Chimoré in the Department of Cochabamba, 300 kilometers (186 miles) east of La Paz, where he launched his re-election bid in May.
Videos from La Paz, the site of many recent anti-Morales protests, show crowds cheering after the resignation announcement.
#VideoNoticias La gente sale a la avenida principal de Obrajes, en #LaPaz, para celebrar la dimisión de @evoespueblo. La gente que circula en sus autos acompaña el festejo con bocinas pic.twitter.com/IsNty9PhEg— La Razón Digital (@LaRazon_Bolivia) November 10, 2019
Ruling Bolivia since 2006, Morales has gained a reputation as a staunch defender of socialism and an ardent critic of US foreign policy. The country’s highest court ruled in 2018 that he could run for a fourth term.
Bolivia's right-wing opposition coup leaders like Luis Fernando Camacho have been conspiring with the US-appointed Venezuelan coup leaders.They are all part of the same network of elite right-wingers, supported by the US and backed by rich capitalistshttps://t.co/7342a7WayS— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) November 10, 2019
After the contested October election, there were rival rallies of Morales’ opponents and supporters throughout the nation. While some anti-government protests have remained peaceful, others led to rioting in major cities, clashes with police, and attacks on pro-government politicians. On Saturday, protesters burned the house of Oruro city governor Víctor Hugo Vásquez, who stood by the president as tensions grew.
Morales said his resignation does not mean that socialism has been defeated.
"It is no betrayal. The struggle continues. We are a people,” he said.
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