Evo Morales resigns as president of Bolivia

The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, resigned his charge after three weeks of protests against his political re-election and after losing the support of the Armed Forces and the Police.

“I resign from my position as president so that (Carlos) Mesa and (Luis Fernando) Camacho do not continue to persecute social leaders,” Morales said on television, referring to opposition leaders who called for protests against him, unleashed the day following the elections of October 20.

Minutes before the announcement, the chiefs of the Bolivian Armed Forces and Police asked the president to leave his charge amid protests over his questioned re-election in the October 20 elections in which there were irregularities. Immediately after the announcement, the streets of La Paz became a carnival, with the explosion of firecrackers and miles of protesters waving Bolivian tricolor flags (red, yellow and green).

Morales, 60 and in power since 2006, had won re-election in the October elections questioned, but the OAS audit mission detected frequent irregularities. In the following hours, Morales lost the support of the Armed Forces and the Police, while miles of people demanded his resignation in the streets.

“The coup has been consumed,” said Vice President Álvaro García Linera, sitting next to Morales, who also reported his resignation.

The minute-by-minute coverage of the political crisis in Bolivia and the reactions of the Latin American government following the resignation of Evo Morales continues here.

With information www.milenio.com

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