The commander in chief of the Bolivian Armed Forces, General Williams Kaliman, on Sunday asked President Evo Morales to resign, amid protests over his questioned re-election in the elections of October 20, in which there were irregularities, according to the OAS, reported AFP.
The indigenous leader, who assumed power in 2006, he won those elections, but the counting of votes stopped inexplicably for almost a day, which caused accusations of fraud and triggered opposition protests, strikes and roadblocks.
“After analyzing the internal conflict situation, we ask the president of the State to resign his presidential mandate allowing the pacification and maintenance of stability, for the good of our Bolivia, ”General Kaliman told the press.
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According to the report, it is "statistically unlikely" that, despite winning the elections, Morales has obtained the 10 percentage points necessary to avoid a ballot with the liberal Carlos Mesa, who was second.
In a brief appearance in which he did not cite this report, Morales said that the new appointment with the polls will be held with a renewed electoral body, before the allegations of fraud in the first round. "I have decided to call new elections," said the president from the presidential hangar of the international airport of El Alto, a neighboring city of La Paz.
The president appeared accompanied by representatives of social movements related to his Government and said he had consulted them before making the decision.
The head of state said that agreed to repeal all members of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which the opposition and civic committees accuse of electoral fraud in the victory that granted Morales a fourth consecutive term until 2025.
In this regard, he said that the Bolivian Parliament, the competent body to renew the electoral tribunal, will soon begin the process to appoint new members.
Morales declared that the next electoral process, without specifying dates, will be carried out by "new political actors". The president stressed that he adopted this decision of new elections to "lower all tension" and "pacify Bolivia."
For her part, the president of the Supreme Electoral Court, María Eugenia Choque Quispe, presented her resignation "irrevocable", and said that she does so to undergo "any investigation."
US supports new elections
The United States supported the call for new presidential elections in Bolivia after the OAS report. In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that in order to "restore the credibility of the electoral process, all government officials and officials of any political organization involved in the defective elections of October 20 must be made to one side of the electoral process. "
The head of US diplomacy also called on the different actors to refrain from violence "during this tense time" and said they will continue working with their international partners "to ensure that democracy in Bolivia lasts."
Meanwhile, in Bolivia, the opposition continues to demand the resignation of the president. After the call for a new election made by the president, the opposition Mesa said Morales should not be a candidate again.
"If you have an iota of patriotism (Morales) should step aside," Mesa told reporters.
For his part, Luis Fernando Camacho – a civil leader from the eastern city of Santa Cruz who became a symbol of the opposition – said he planned to go to the government house to give the president a letter of resignation already written so that the firm.
In the midst of the upheaval in the South American nation, at least three people were injured by gunfire on a highway in the high plateau of Bolivia to the passage of a caravan of miners who went to La Paz to join protests against the president.
Clashes between supporters and detractors of the president since the day after the elections began suspicions of manipulation of votes have cost at least three dead and 384 injured, according to data from the Ombudsman's Office of Bolivia.
The civic committees that demonstrate in the streets asked in public assemblies held last week that neither Morales nor Mesa will run again.