Bolivia’s socialist President Evo Morales resigns after the nation’s military chief said he should leave office following fraud allegations that marred his recent re-election after 13 years office
President Morales announced his departure Sunday after General Williams Kaliman said the South American nation’s military chiefs wanted him gone
Kaliman said on national television Sunday that the military’s chiefs wanted Morales gone to restore ‘peace and stability and for the good of our Bolivia’
Kaliman who had sidestepped constitutional provisions stepped in within hours of Morales agreeing earlier in the day to hold a new election
Morales’ claim to have won a fourth term in October had triggered fraud allegations, deadly protests and a split among security forces
Morales, first elected in 2006, was seeking to remain in power until 2025 after he took legal action to get around constitutional term limits
Luis Fernando Camacho, a Bolivian opposition leader, waves a Bolivian national flag in La Paz on Sunday after delivering a pre-written resignation letter at the Palacio Quemado [former presidential palace], Bolivia’s now former President Evo Morales to sign
People take to the streets of La Paz to celebrate the resignation of Bolivia’s now former President Evo Morales on Sunday
Bolivians hug themselves in relief and celebration, after Bolivia’s President Evo Morales announced his resignation in La Paz on Sunday
‘Likewise, we ask the Bolivian people and mobilized sectors to shed attitudes of violence and disorder among brothers so as not to stain our families with blood, pain and mourning’, the general said, Reuters reports.
Kaliman stepped in after Morales agreed earlier in the day to hold a new election.
Morales, first elected in 2006, is head of Movement for Socialism, or MAS, the country’s socialist party.
Earlier on Sunday, a report from the Organization of American States (OAS), which conducted an audit of the October vote, revealed serious irregularities in the election won by Morales, which sparked widespread division in the country.
The dispute over the October 20 election triggered nationwide protests, resulting in three deaths and more than 300 injuries.
Police guards outside the presidential palace left their posts Saturday, allowing anti-government protesters to walk up to the doors of the building.
Morales was not in the building when police retreated, with some of them standing on the roof of a near by police station in a sign of growing discontent among security forces and that his presidency was in trouble.
Officials in the palace in La Paz were evacuated, leaving only a military presidential guard.
Bolivian police had became openly defiant a day earlier after protests appeared to be spreading.
Officers at a police station during a protest against Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales in La Paz on Sunday. Police reportedly had became openly defiant a day earlier after protests appeared to be spreading
Patricia Arce, of the governing Mas party, was dragged out of Vinto town hall on and subjected to four hours of degradation in which she was made to kneel and sign her resignation.
Morales, first elected president in 2006, was seeking to remain in power until 2025 after he took legal action to get around constitutional term limits.