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Bolivia. In the face of the political crisis, President Evo Morales announces his resignation

The political crisis is worsening in Bolivia: President Evo Morales, whose recent election was contested by the opposition and the street announced his resignation this Sunday, November 10. Earlier in the day, several ministers and deputies, including the Speaker of the House, made the same decision.

The opposition and the army called on the president to resign after three weeks of challenging his re-election.

"After analyzing the national conflict, we ask the president to give up his presidential mandate, to allow the restoration of peace and the restoration of stability in the country "said the commander of the land forces, Williams Kaliman, to the press.

New ballot does not satisfy the street

The announcement by the 60-year-old indigenous leader, in power since 2006, of a new election – an option he rejected until then – was aimed at "Pacify Bolivia" but failed to bring calm, and clashes between protesters and law enforcement continued Sunday.

The army ordered "Air and ground military operations to neutralize armed groups acting outside the law"said his commander-in-chief, General Williams Kaliman.

Rise of violence

Speaking of protesters who burned down his house in Potosi (southwest), the president of the National Assembly, Victor Borda, resigned, imitated according to the Bolivian television by a dozen deputies.

"Provided it helps preserve the physical integrity of my brother, who has been taken hostage" during the attack, he said.

Shortly thereafter, the Minister of Mines, César Navarro, also gave up his post, saying he wanted "Preserve (his) family" after the fire of his house and the aggression of his nephew.

"The course of events goes against my personal principles, as well as my spiritual and democratic values", wrote the Minister of Hydrocarbons, Luis Alberto Sanchez, in his letter of resignation sent to the president and published on Twitter.

"He should retire"

Several opposition leaders have urged the head of state to resign.

"If he has an ounce of patriotism left he should retire."said centrist Carlos Mesa, an unfortunate candidate in the first round of presidential elections on Oct. 20, which the Organization of American States (OAS) called for cancellation.

"Evo Morales broke the constitutional order and must resign"Luis Fernando Camacho, the most visible and radical leader of the opposition, called for the formation of a "Transitional government commission", responsible for "Call new elections within 60 days".

The Bolivian president announced that he was going "Renew all the members of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE)"then "Convene (s) new elections that will, by voting, allow the Bolivian people to democratically elect new authorities". But he did not specify the date of this new ballot, or whether he would represent it.

The vote tainted with irregularities

Civil society committees that have mushroomed in recent weeks in the country have demanded that neither Evo Morales nor Carlos Mesa stand for re-election.

The OAS requested the cancellation of the first round, flawed by irregularities according to it, and the convening of a new ballot as soon as the guarantees were provided for its smooth running, "First and foremost the composition of a new electoral body", by allusion to the TSE.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America Michael Kozak reacted in a tweet by asking the OAS to send a mission to Bolivia to make sure the new elections are "Free and fair, and the reflection of the will of the Bolivian people".

A score deemed "fraudulent"

In a statement, the head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, hailed "Positively" the announcement of new elections, calling "All parties, especially the authorities, to take their democratic responsibilities and the appropriate decisions allowing a rapid reconciliation and avoid further violence".

The 20 October election resulted in the re-election of Evo Morales for a fourth term until 2025, an option rejected by the people in a referendum in February 2016.

His score announced by the TSE, exceeding by more than 10 points that of Carlos Mesa, was immediately described as fraudulent by the opposition.

Three dead and 383 injured

Signs of a worsening of the situation have increased in recent days, with mutinies of police units in several parts of the country and the occupation of state media by protesters.

Evo Morales had again launched Saturday a call for dialogue, rejected immediately by the opposition, while Cuba expressed his support for it "The putschist adventure of imperialism and oligarchy".

Pope Francis called on Bolivians to wait "In peace and serenity" the electoral review process " In progress ".

The wave of protest that has shaken the country for three weeks has left three dead and 383 injured.

"Our democracy is in danger because of the current coup d'état that violent groups have launched against the constitutional order"Evo Morales said Friday night.

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Bolivia. In the face of the political crisis, President Evo Morales announces his resignationOuest-France.fr

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