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

UN sends envoy to help with Bolivia crisis

UN sends envoy to help with Bolivia crisis

Three people have died and hundreds have been injured since Bolivians began heavily protesting on October 20th, when Morales claimed he won a fourth term as president (after almost 14 years in office), and after an election that the Organization of American States said was manipulated.

With Morales thousands of miles away in Mexico City after he resigned under pressure on Sunday, crowds of his supporters carrying colorful flags and banners marched in the capital while his party's lawmakers looked to unseat Jeanine Anez, the Senate vice-president who stepped in on Tuesday.

Interim President Jeanine Anez, who took over on Tuesday after a spate of resignations, had earlier indicated she wanted to mend bridges with Morales' party.

Anez, 52, is trying to lead a sharply divided Bolivia that has been rocked by protests since an October 20 election, which was won by Morales but marred by widespread allegations of fraud.

The move divided opinions in the country: critics anxious that Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) might follow in Morales' footsteps and try to amend the constitution to allow for multiple presidential terms, while others agreed with the federal government's choice to provide refuge for Morales and signaled Mexico's history of offering asylum to political leaders.

This represents a huge blow for Russian President Putin, who up until now has found an important ally in Mr Morales and Russia-Bolivia relations grow.

Morales has said he was the victim of a coup, with his supporters continuing to agitate on his behalf with marches and skirmishes in the streets of La Paz and nearby El Alto.

"Evo Morales does not qualify to run for a fourth term", conservative former senator Anez told a news conference on Thursday.

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In comments aired on channel Unitel, he added that MAS had sought assurance that Morales would be able to return freely to Bolivia. She announced that Morales could not participate in elections again but his MAS party could.

Using the example of the failed USA efforts to depose Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, Putin suggested that the West back off and let the citizens of Latin America resolve their problems "by themselves".

That sparked violent street protests, which left three people dead and hundreds more wounded, in what the Morales government already called a coup bid.

"Dialogue with the participation of the United Nations, the Catholic Church and mediating countries will bring peace to Bolivia", the ex-president maintained.

It's unclear whether Bolivian election officials would have to formally bar Morales from running in a new election.

At the government palace, where Anez later unveiled her core team of ministers, she said she planned to call elections "in the shortest possible time".

The United States, Brazil, Colombia and Britain have also recognised Anez.

Ten people have now died and more than 400 have been injured in the protests, according to prosecutors.

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