Bolivia Congress Rubber Stamps November Resignation of Evo Morales
Reuters reports via The New York Times:
LA PAZ — Bolivia’s Congress on Tuesday formally accepted the November resignation of leftist leader Evo Morales and his deputy Álvaro García Linera, rubber stamping the end of his 14-year socialist administration as the South American country heads for new elections in May.
Bolivia’s legislature, controlled by his party, had not yet accepted his resignation. Morales stepped down on Nov. 10, as support from his allies and the military evaporated following a disputed election and widespread protests.
“The letter of resignation has been considered and approved by a majority,” said Sergio Choque, head of the lower Chamber of Deputies. Choque added that the move showed Congress was fulfilling its parliamentary role.
Morales has maintained that he was ousted in a right-wing coup. Since he stepped down, he has noted in some interviews that he was legally still president until lawmakers approved his resignation. He does not plan to run in new elections in May.
In the resignation letter, read out to a packed Congress, the long-standing leader criticized the current government and said it was his responsibility to continue to protect his Bolivian “brothers and sisters”.
Morales left Bolivia days after his resignation and is now in Argentina. From there, he has been active in his Movement for Socialism party’s election campaign ahead of the May. 3 vote.
(Reporting by Daniel Ramos; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by David Gregorio)
Bolivian Thoughts opinion: Why did it take SO long? This devious personality, after been caught on a phone conversation, calling for food blockades to the cities, which in itself is a clear threat to human life, wanted to scape from a penal trial! He wants, as former president to be treated differently … so, this coward has again manipulated the Congress, for his own benefit. Bolivia will not forget his crimes, his squandering, his corruption, his servitude to foreign powers like Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Russia and China.
AFP reports fro France 24:
After two months Bolivia’s Congress accepts Morales resignation
La Paz (AFP)
Bolivia’s Congress voted on Tuesday to accept the resignation of former president Evo Morales, two months after the 60-year-old quit and fled for asylum in Mexico and then Argentina.
In an at times chaotic debate, the bicameral body dominated by lawmakers from Morales’ Movement for Socialism party formally accepted his resignation, one day before his original presidential term was due to end.
Wednesday should have been the day when a new president took office but Bolivia was plunged into civil unrest after Morales’s controversial re-election in October.
After three weeks of protests, the Organization of American States announced it had found clear evidence of vote-rigging.
Morales subsequently resigned on November 10 and soon after left the country.
His vice-president Alvaro Garcia and the presidents of both the Senate and lower house followed suit, with center-right opposition senator Jeanine Anez assuming the presidency as the next highest ranking official in parliament.
Although Morales’s resignation constitutionally needed congressional approval, the constitutional court ratified Anez’s new post.
She is due to remain president until a general election scheduled for May 3, in which Morales has been barred from standing.
“In the Legislative Assembly we accept the resignation of our colleague Evo Morales and Alvaro Garcia,” influential MAS lawmaker Henry Cabrera told reporters.
“We’re fulfilling the constitution which says that the ones who accept or reject resignations are deputies and senators.”
However, deputy Shirley Franco — from Anez’s Democrats party — described the vote as “out of date and inadmissable.”
“The constitutional succession took place on November 12 due to the definitive absence of the ex-president, who took asylum having left the territory,” she said.
Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, had been in power for almost 14 years but twice flouted constitutional term limits to stand for re-election.
He has said he wants to return to Bolivia to run MAS’s election campaign but an arrest warrant has been issued against him.
The interim government accuses Morales of sedition and terrorism over a telephone recording in which he allegedly urges his supporters to lay siege to major cities.
Morales had repeated several times that until Congress accepted his resignation he would continue to consider himself president.
© 2020 AFP