Protest Forces Bolivia President To Resign

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Bolivian President Evo Morales (Photo credit: AIZAR RALDES/AFP via Getty Images)
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News Americas, La Paz, Bolivia, Mon. Nov. 11, 2019 (BBC Latin America News): Bolivian President Evo Morales has resigned amid turmoil following his disputed re-election last month.

On Sunday, international monitors called for the election result to be annulled, saying they had found “clear manipulations” of the 20 October poll.

Mr Morales agreed with the findings and announced his intention to call fresh elections – after overhauling the country’s election body.

But politicians – and the army and police chiefs – had urged him to quit.

Some of his allies were attacked earlier this week, and said their homes had been set alight.

In a televised address, Mr Morales said he would resign as president, and urged protesters to “stop attacking the brothers and sisters, stop burning and attacking”.

The Vice-President, Alvaro Garcia Linera, and Senate President Adriana Salvatierra, have also resigned.

Protesters took to the streets to celebrate, chanting “yes we could” and setting off fire crackers.

Bolivia has been rattled by weeks of anti-government protests, following the reports of election fraud.

Tensions first flared on the night of the presidential election after the results count was inexplicably stopped for 24 hours. The final result gave Mr Morales slightly more than the 10-percentage-point lead he needed to win outright in the first round of the race.

At least three people died during clashes that followed. Some uniformed police officers also joined the protesters.

On Sunday, the Organization of American States, which monitored the elections, said it had found evidence of wide-scale data manipulation, and could not certify the result of the previous polls.

Pressure continued to build on Mr Morales during the day, as several of his political allies resigned, some citing fears for the safety of their families. (BBC Latin America News)

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