- Title: After a 14-year rule, Morales resigns from the Bolivian presidency
- Date: 17th December 2019
- Summary: ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** PEOPLE CHANTING SLOGANS MORALES DANCING (SOUNDBITE) EX PRESIDENT OF BOLIVIA, EVO MORALES, SAYING: "Don't abandon me on October 20, on Sunday. You never have abandoned me. We want to continue working together to show that Bolivia has hope" MORALES SUPPORTERS EL CHAPARE, BOLIVIA (FILE - OCTOBER 20, 2019) (REUTERS) EVO MORALES ARRIVING AT POLLING STATION AND SUPPORTERS GATHERED PEOPLE AT POLLING STATION VARIOUS OF MORALES HOLDING UP BALLOT AND THEN DROPS IT IN BALLOT BOX LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE - OCTOBER 20, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CARLOS MESA HOLDING UP BALLOT AND THEN DROPS IT IN BALLOT BOX VARIOUS OF WOMAN SHOWING VOTING BALLOT VOTING BALLOTS ON A TABLE VARIOUS OF PERSON WRITING VOTING NUMBER SUPPORTERS OF EVO MORALES CHANTING SLOGANS (SOUNDBITE) EX PRESIDENT OF BOLIVIA, EVO MORALES, SAYING: "To be convinced of the results that we have, if we review past (elections), they (Bolivian opposition) have never won with more than 30 percent, and here with 60 percent, 50 percent. I'm confident of the votes". LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE - OCTOBER 21, 2019) (REUTERS) REPRESENTATIVES OF BOLIVIAN SUPREME ELECTORAL COURT AT NEWS CONFERENCE PEOPLE CHANTING (Spanish) "FRAUD" LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE - OCTOBER 25, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE BLOCKING STREETS AND SIGN THAT READS (Spanish) "DEMOCRACY, YES. DICTATORSHIP, NO" LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE - OCTOBER 26, 2019) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF PEOPLE PROTESTING PROTESTERS HOLDING CHARACTERISATION OF MORALES WITH HORNS ON HIS FOREHEAD PEOPLE PROTESTING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEMONSTRATOR, LUCIA QUISPE, SAYING: "For him to leave Bolivia, that is my wish for him. Direct to jail, to leave. He didn't cost democracy, democracy cost us" LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE - OCTOBER 29, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF POLICE FIRING TEAR GAS AT PROTESTERS PROTESTERS BLOCKING STREETS VARIOUS POLICE FIRING TEAR GAS AT PROTESTERS LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE - NOVEMBER 6, 2019) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS BLOCKING STREETS POLICE FIRING TEAR GAS VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS NEAR TEAR GAS POLICE FIRING TEAR GAS PROTESTERS NEAR OF TEAR GAS VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS CHANTING (Spanish) "WE DO NOT WANT A VENEZUELAN DICTATORSHIP". LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (FILE - NOVEMBER 9, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF POLICE PROTESTING AND HOLDING BOLIVIAN FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER, SAYING: "We have decided to mutiny and all the La Paz police are concentrating here in the Tactical Unit of Police Operations (TUPO), and nationally the same". VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS WITH BOLIVIAN FLAGS SUPPORTING THE POLICE PROTESTING
- Embargoed: 31st December 2019 18:05
- Keywords: Bolivia El Chapare Evo Morales Interim President Jeanine Anez La Paz elections protest resignation
- Location: LA PAZ + SANTA CRUZ + EL CHAPARE + EL ALTO, BOLIVIA / MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- City: LA PAZ + SANTA CRUZ + EL CHAPARE + EL ALTO, BOLIVIA / MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA006BAD3VPJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: With more than a decade at the helm of landlocked Bolivia, the country's leftist president Evo Morales handed in his resignation amidst violent protests in the aftermath of an election marred by fraud allegations.
On the night of election night on October 20, Bolivia's Supreme Electoral Tribunal suspended ballot counting that trended towards a second-round vote between Morales and the opposition candidate, Carlos Mesa. The next day when the count resumed the trend had changed, showing a Morales win in the first round by a narrow margin.
The announcement sparked violent protests across the country, with supporters of Morales facing off with his critics in street fighting.
Amidst a divided nation, international observers such as the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the European Union called for a second electoral round.
Although insisting on his victory, Morales gave the green light for an investigation of the election.
Morales' critics took to the streets to call for the incumbent to stand down. His supporters amassed on La Paz in solidarity with the embattled leader.
Morales had been in power for 13 years and was looking for his fourth term. The former Bolivian president accused his critics of seeking a coup.
In the clashes that ensued, at least 30 people were killed, 500 wounded and more than 400 arrested.
On November 8, riots in Cochabamba, Sucre and Santa Cruz saw a heavy presence of police and soldiers deployed to the streets. Morales supporters accused authorities of using heavy-handed tactics against them.
On November 10, police and the army called for Morales' resignation to restore law and order in the country.
Two days after his resignation, Morales travelled to Mexico on November 12 to seek political asylum under the leftist government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
After the resignation of Morales and his senior ministers, opposition senator Jeanine Anez was reportedly next in line to assume the role of interim president of Bolivia
Anez promised to appoint a new board for the electoral body and call new elections that would ban Evo Morales from being a presidential candidate.
A final report from the OAS on the troubled Bolivia vote pointed to a "deliberate" and "malicious" campaign to rig Bolivia's October election in favour of Morales.
On December 12, Morales arrived in Argentina after stints in Mexico and Cuba.
(Production: Monica Machicao, Liamar Ramos, Geraldine Downer, Paul Vieira)
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