BOLIVIA – Evo Morales resigns the presidency of Bolivia

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The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, announced his resignation on Sunday, after three weeks of protests against his controversial 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 pursue social leaders," Morales said on television, referring to the opposition leaders who called for protests against him, unleashed on the day following the elections of October 20.

Immediately after the announcement, the streets of La Paz became a carnival, with the explosion of firecrackers and thousands 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 numerous irregularities, in a report released Sunday.

In the following hours, Morales lost the support of the Armed Forces and the Police, while thousands of people demanded his resignation in the streets.

"The coup has been consummated," said Vice President Álvaro García Linera, sitting next to Morales, who also announced his resignation.

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