By Cristina Hodgson • 11 November 2019 • 10:04
Bolivian President Evo Morales steps down following accusations of election fraud
THREE WEEKS AGO, October 20, the Bolivian elections took place. The initial results showed Morales with a slim lead.
But concern grew after the electoral authority stopped updating its website showing the preliminary results of the presidential election.
With almost 83.8% of votes verified, President Evo Morales led with 45.3%, leaving his main rival, Carlos Mesa, in second place with 38.2%.
The partial results suggested Mr Morales did not have the votes needed to win outright and would have to face Mr Mesa in a second round.
However, once the system was restored, the results showed a significant margin between Morales and his opponent. An international audit found the results of the election could not be validated because of “serious irregularities.”
Demonstrators and the Bolivian opposition accused electoral authorities of manipulating the vote count in favour of Morales, the country’s long-time socialist leader. Morales denied the allegations and declared himself the winner. However protests broke out causing three dead and hundreds injured.
The military called for Morales to step down, the police also withdrew their support following weeks of unrest over the disputed election results.
After nearly 14 years in power and just hours after promising fresh elections the Bolivian President has resigned.
“I regret this deeply,” Morales said on national television. He will send his resignation letter to Congress in the next few hours, he said.
Morales said he was stepping down “for the good of the country,” but added “Dark forces have destroyed democracy.”
Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, later said on Twitter that the police had an “illegal” warrant for his arrest and that “violent groups” had attacked his home.
The commander of Bolivia’s police force said in a television interview that there was no warrant for Morales’ arrest.
Celebrations broke out across the country as news of his resignation spread however It was unclear yesterday (Sunday) evening who would be Bolivia’s next president as all the officials next in the presidential line of succession resigned Sunday as well.
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