Morales’ shadow looms giant in Bolivia as clashes take a look at new chief


LA PAZ (Information) – Bolivian safety forces clashed on the streets of La Paz with supporters of unseated president Evo Morales on Wednesday, firing tear fuel to clear crowds who hurled rocks and set fires in a take a look at to Bolivia’s new interim chief.

With Morales hundreds of miles away in Mexico Metropolis after he resigned beneath stress on Sunday, crowds of his supporters carrying colourful flags and banners marched within the capital whereas his get together’s lawmakers regarded to unseat Jeanine Anez, the Senate vice-president who stepped in on Tuesday.

Anez, 52, mentioned she wished elections as quickly as potential and denied a coup had taken place towards leftist chief and newly-exiled Morales, who hinted he may return to Bolivia.

Morales’ 14-year socialist rule led to violent protests and recriminations after rising stress over accusations of vote rigging within the Oct. 20 election. However he struck a defiant tone from Mexico the place he’s looking for asylum.

“If my individuals ask, we’re prepared to return. We’ll return ultimately … to pacify Bolivia,” he mentioned at a information convention in Mexico Metropolis.

Anez, who has already overhauled a few of Morales’ insurance policies, faces a problem from lawmakers of Morales’ Motion for Socialism (MAS) get together, who’ve a majority in parliament and have threatened a rival session to nullify her presidency.

The non secular conservative arrived to tackle her new position carrying a bible in a symbolic break from indigenous chief Morales. She has already acknowledged Venezuelan opposition chief Juan Guaido over Morales ally President Nicolas Maduro.

Anez was pressured to declare herself president after legislators from the MAS get together boycotted her swearing in. She as an alternative invoked a constitutional clause as the subsequent particular person in line for succeeding the president.

However Morales’ loyalists say that transfer was unlawful as a result of Congress didn’t formally settle for Morales’ resignation, and tried to carry a counter assembly on Wednesday.

Giant numbers of police across the central Plaza Murillo in La Paz appeared to dam MAS lawmakers, together with former Senate head Adriana Salvatierra, from getting into the federal government constructing.

Salvatierra had resigned publicly however mentioned on Wednesday that her resignation letter had not been formally accepted. “I’m nonetheless a senator,” Salvatierra advised journalists.


Police additionally fired tear fuel within the metropolis middle to interrupt up crowds after hundreds of Morales supporters marched into La Paz from close by El Alto, many carrying the colourful “Wiphala” flags of regional indigenous teams.

Many beforehand marginalized indigenous teams noticed their energy and affluence rise considerably beneath Morales, a former coca grower who was Bolivia’s first indigenous president.

Bolivian Interim President Jeanine Anez reads an announcement on the Presidential Palace, in La Paz, Bolivia November 13, 2019. Information/Luisa Gonzalez

Bolivia’s Legal professional Common says there have been a minimum of seven fatalities within the 23 days of battle, together with within the cities of La Paz, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba.

Individuals in La Paz have been break up on Anez. “She doesn’t symbolize the individuals, however the large elites, the society that has cash however doesn’t symbolize the poor,” mentioned bread vendor Ruth Moscoso.

Others cheered Anez taking on the interim position and hoped it might convey stability after weeks of protests.

“It appears she goes to behave in a good method and can get us out of this mess,” Jose Clarens mentioned on his strategy to a market.

On the authorities palace, the place Anez later unveiled her core staff of ministers, she mentioned she deliberate to name elections “within the shortest potential time.”

“I now name for a peaceable and democratic transition, revoking the circumstances that had made us right into a totalitarian nation,” Anez mentioned.

In 48 hours of turmoil on the weekend, mutinous police climbed on station buildings and joined marches, allies abandoned Morales, the Washington-based Group of American States (OAS) declared his re-election was manipulated, and the army urged him to give up.

Worldwide response to the disaster is split. Left-wing allies echoed Morales’ allegations of a coup and others cheered his resignation pretty much as good for democracy.

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Conservative-led Brazil, Colombia and Britain congratulated Anez. A U.S. official mentioned Washington would “sit up for working together with her and Bolivia’s different civilian authorities as they prepare free and truthful elections as quickly as potential.”

Anti-Morales protesters say the stress constructed on him to some extent of no return with rising proof of election tampering and that he had gone towards the need of the individuals by looking for a fourth time period when he misplaced a 2016 referendum on altering the structure to permit him to run once more.

However Morales promised to maintain up the political struggle. He attacked the OAS audit of the election and later mentioned the “coup” was a U.S.-led political conspiracy.

Reporting by Gram Slattery, Daniel Ramos, Miguel Lo Bianco and Monica Machicao in La Paz and Diego Ore in Mexico Metropolis; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Enhancing by Andrew Cawthorne, Rosalba O’Brien and Grant McCool