Published: Fri, November 15, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

New Bolivian leader seeks quick vote, foes plan disruptions

New Bolivian leader seeks quick vote, foes plan disruptions

Bolivia's exiled ex-president Evo Morales said Wednesday he was ready to return to "pacify" his country amid weeks of unrest that led to his resignation.

Anez, a 52-year-old deputy Senate leader, took over the presidency after Morales, his vice president and the leaders of both houses of Congress resigned.

"It doesn't seem likely" that Morales' party will accept Anez as president, said Jennifer Cyr, an associate professor of political science and Latin American studies at the University of Arizona. But he struck a defiant tone from Mexico where he is seeking asylum. "We only want to be allowed to work to bring the country back to normal life", the Dia newspaper quoted her as saying. "We'll return sooner or pacify Bolivia".

Don't be fooled by those who say that Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, resigned over an electoral fraud dispute.

The constitution gives an interim president 90 days to organise an election, and Añez's still-disputed accession was an example of the problems she'll face.

It's not clear who between Anez and the military are really calling the shots, but the United States seems comfortable with either, seeing anything that is post-Morales as necessarily a step toward democracy, no matter how much of a military coup it gives the appearance of.

On Wednesday, television showed large numbers of police around the central Plaza Murillo in La Paz.

Salvatierra had announced her resignation publicly but said Wednesday that her resignation letter had not been presented before the legislature and thus was not finalized. "I'm still a senator", Salvatierra told journalists.

Riot police fired tear gas during clashes with hundreds of Morales supporters who marched towards the presidential palace to protest Anez s appointment.

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Many previously marginalised indigenous groups saw their power and affluence rise significantly under Morales, a former coca grower who was Bolivia's first indigenous president.

"If this is seen by the indigenous social movement as an effort by the old elite to restore the old order in Bolivian society, I think that is a recipe for tremendous political conflict", said Kenneth Roberts, professor of government at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

We ask for his return.

At the government palace, Mrs Anez said she planned to call elections "in the shortest possible time".

Anez praised the "democratic disposition of the Armed Forces and police" who abandoned Morales last weekend, forcing him to resign on Sunday after weeks of protest over his re-election.

He called for a "national dialogue" to resolve the crisis in Bolivia and rejected Anez s legitimacy. Left-wing allies echoed Morales' allegations of a coup and others cheered his resignation as good for democracy.

Anez said earlier on Tuesday that she was confident that enough senators would reach the Senate to form a quorum - 19 of the 36 were needed to do so.

"We look forward to working with the Organization of American States, Bolivia's civilian constitutional institutions, and the Bolivian people as they prepare to hold free, fair elections as soon as possible". "They can never again steal our vote".

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