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Bolivia: clashes in La Paz on the first day of the interim presidency

2019-11-13T23:45:48.074Z

In a Bolivia still shaken by demonstrations, the acting president Jeanine Añez tried on Wednesday, November 13 to fill the political void left by the departure of Evo Morales. Bolivian President resigning Evo Morales said ...



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A clash between supporters of former Bolivian President Evo Morales and security forces in La Paz, Bolivia, November 13, 2019. REUTERS / Carlos Garcia Rawlins

In a Bolivia still shaken by demonstrations, the interim president Jeanine Añez tried on Wednesday, November 13 to fill the political void left by the departure of Evo Morales. Bolivian President resigning Evo Morales has said he is ready to return to his country to appease the situation.

Clashes erupted in the center of La Paz between protesters supporters of the former head of state and the police, the first day of office of Jeanine Añez . A group of several hundred people threw projectiles at the police, who fired tear gas at a few blocks from the government headquarters, where the leader was appointing a new military command at the time. an official ceremony.

At least one military vehicle was deployed in the center of the city, where a group of some 3,000 protesters arrived in the middle of the afternoon from the nearby town of El Alto, favoring the former president.

Preparing a new government

Jeanine Añez, who proclaimed herself Tuesday acting president of the country, was preparing Wednesday the composition of his government, which should be reduced to the bare minimum, according to one of his spokesmen. This concerns " the functions, the most important positions that are: Defense, Interior and Finance," which "can not stop working, " Arturo Murillo, a right-wing senator, told the press. The executive should be unveiled by Wednesday night.

In addition to forming the government, the other priority of the interim head of state is to appoint a new electoral authority to call new elections. In taking up her duties, Mrs. Añez had fixed the date of 22 January as the limit. Before the crisis, it was on this date that the next head of state was to be enthroned.

At a press conference in Mexico City, where he found asylum, Evo Morales said he was ready to return to Bolivia " to appease the situation ." " We'll come back sooner or later, " he added. The Bolivian president who resigned the day before in Mexico, also called for a " national dialogue " to resolve the crisis that is agitating his country. He also refuted the legitimacy of the acting president, Senator Jeanine Añez. A " coup d'état " according to him.

The former Bolivian president during his press conference in Mexico, November 13, 2019. REUTERS / Edgard Garrido

Walk to La Paz

A little earlier, in Cochabamba, the stronghold of the former president, calm was relative. The shops of this central city have reopened in the morning, banks also. There is no military presence in the streets, reports the RFI special correspondent on the spot, Marie Normand . Moreover, a large part of the roads that had been blocked for three weeks are at least partially cleared.

The residents interviewed looked forward to this return to calm, after several days blocked at home. The streets and squares are crowded. The calm is precarious, however, since dams were installed in the north of the city, guarded by groups of young people armed with sticks, dressed like paramilitaries. They are getting organized, they say, with a view to tomorrow, since the supporters of Evo Morales are now hoping to organize a rally in Cochabamba.

In particular, there should be support from the former president's electoral stronghold, who are challenging the proclamation of the acting president. These supports come from the tropics of Cochabamba, a coca-producing region, the cradle of the trade union struggle that led Evo Morales to power at the time.

It was there that he took refuge after his resignation, just before going into exile in Mexico. The vice president of the main peasant trade union structure in the region is calling for an uprising of all the social organizations that still support Evo Morales. Their goal is to march Thursday, November 14 to Cochabamba, then to head to La Paz, to demand the return of the former president in Bolivia.

Source: rfi

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