La Paz (AP) - After the resignation of Bolivia's leader Evo Morales, Senator Jeanine Añez has declared herself interim president of the South American country.
"I will take all necessary measures to pacify the country," she said Tuesday night (local time). With a Bible in her hand, she and her supporters moved to the former government building, Palacio Quemado, declaring, "We want to live in democracy, freedom and peace."
Earlier, two attempts by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies failed to establish a quorum as the parliamentarians of Morale's MAS party boycotted the meeting. The Constitutional Court nevertheless declared Añez's seizure of power admissible.
The lawyer sits since 2010 for the Department Beni in the Senate. Because in addition to Morales also the Vice President, the President of the Senate and the President of the Chamber of Deputies had resigned, moved the second Vice President of the Senate to the top government. The 52-year-old now has to organize a new election within 90 days.
Out of Mexican exile, Morales condemned the recent events in La Paz. "That was the most cunning and dangerous coup in history. A right-wing coup d'état appoints herself President of the Senate and then Interim President of Bolivia without the necessary quorum, surrounded by accomplices and police and soldiers who oppress the people, "the ex-president wrote on Twitter.
After massive protests and pressure from the military, Morales resigned only three weeks after his controversial re-election on Sunday. The Socialist had declared himself the winner in the first round after the vote on October 20, despite opposition and international observers having raised considerable doubts and accusing him of electoral fraud. He then went into exile in Mexico.
Appalled supporters of Morales marched through the streets of the government seat of La Paz demanding a return of their political leader. Policemen and soldiers sealed off the center. Luftwaffe aircraft flew over the city.
Presidential candidate Carlos Mesa, who lost out in the recent elections, backed the transitional chief of state. "I congratulate the new constitutional president of Bolivia, Jeanine Añez," he wrote on Twitter. "I wish her every success in the challenges that await her. Long live the fatherland. »
As the first indigenous president, Morales had brought the poorhouse of South America a long period of political stability and economic development. In his almost 14 years at the head of the government, he ensured that the rich profits from the gas and lithium production remained largely in the country and also benefited the indigenous population majority.
In order to fulfill his dream and to remain in office until the 200th anniversary of independence in 2025, the former coca farmer sprang from the simplest circumstances. In October, he stood for re-election for the third time, although the constitution provides for re-election at most. Morales overcame this hurdle with the help of his judicial system, which described the limitation of terms as a violation of his human rights.
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