Bolivia: Jeanine Añez becomes Interim President and Morales successor


Bolivia's longtime head of state Evo Morales is gone – now at least the short-term succession is first clarified. Senator Jeanine Añez has declared herself the interim president of the South American country. "I will take all necessary measures to pacify the country," she said on Tuesday evening (local time). Previously, two attempts by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies failed to establish a quorum because not enough parliamentarians were present.

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.

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.

Strong words of Morales from exile

"The fight continues," said the 60-year-old after his arrival at the airport of Mexico City. He thanked Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for saving his life.

He said he was "very proud" that the left-leaning Morales government, which he led, was granting the "right to asylum". According to Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, Morales had asked the Mexican government to seek asylum both verbally and in writing. This had been approved because the life of Morales had been threatened.

On Twitter, the Bolivian ex-president wrote: "It pains me to give up my country for political reasons." He would return "with greater strength and more energy," promised the first indigenous leader of Bolivia his followers. He had talked about a coup.

Morales tactical error brought him to his office

As the first indigenous president, Morales had given the country 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 from the simplest of circumstances made a drastic misjudgment. 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. This triggered the mass protests in the country.

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